When I plan out the meals for the week, usually I can choose the main dishes fairly quickly but the challenging part for me seems to be always side dishes. If you are stuck with making the same the side dishes too often, I hope you’ll try this easy and appetizing Broccolini Gomaae (ブロッコリーニの胡麻和え).
Gomaae (pronounced “go-maa-e”) literally means “dressed in sesame sauce” in Japanese and it’s a popular way to season broiled vegetables such as green beans and spinach (Spinach Gomaae). The nutty, sweet and savory sesame sauce enhances the flavor of boiled or steamed green vegetables.
I created this dish out of an accident. I was going to make Green Bean Gomaae, but I realized that my green beans went bad already. Then I found a big bag of organic broccolini from Costco in the fridge and thought I’d use it instead. Broccolini and gomaae complemented each other really well and it’s been one of our favorite side dishes since. You can also make this same dish with regular broccoli.
Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli, but it has smaller florets and longer thin stalks. I didn’t know this until researching for this post but broccolini was originally developed in Yokohama, Japan (my home!) in early 90’s (source). The end result is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli. If you love broccoli or Chinese broccoli, you’ll love this veggie. It has the texture of Chinese broccoli but without the bitter taste, more similar to the flavors of regular broccoli.
It has lots of vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A, calcium and iron. The stems are very soft and you can eat the entire vegetable!
It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare from start to finish and I can usually cook it while I prepare main dish. It’s fast to cook, delicious and healthy! Hope this will become one of the popular side dishes for you and your family as well.
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- ½ lb (220 g) broccolini
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp. roasted white sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Rinse the broccolini in running water, cut and discard the ends.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add a pinch of salt and put the end of broccolini first into the boiling water and then submerge the rest of broccolini. Boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove the broccolini and soak in the iced water to cool.
- Pick up a few bunches of broccolini and squeeze the water out. Place them in a clean bowl.
- Add the sesame seeds in a large frying pan and toast them until a few sesame seeds start popping, about 1 and half minute. Toss the frying pan while toasting so sesame seeds won’t get burnt.
- Transfer the toasted sesame seeds into a Japanese-style pestle & grooved mortar and keep grinding until the texture becomes smooth.
- Add sugar and soy sauce to crushed sesame seed and mix well.
- Mix the sesame sauce with the broccolini and serve at the room temperature or chilled.