Gomaae (sesame-soy sauce dressing) may become one of your favorite ways to eat your vegetables. And this new variation is not only delicious, but also visually striking. We normally don’t eat black specked food every day, now do we? The flavor is similar to the white sesame seeds, however, black sesame is just a little nuttier in my opinion. Try this recipe for a slightly different spin on the traditional goma-ae and you’ll be in for a treat!
Green Bean Goma-ae (インゲン黒胡麻和え）
Do you like green beans?
If you do… this recipe could very well be for you!
But you’re probably wondering…
How do I know if I’ll like this recipe?
I’ll tell you.
First, let me tell you what goma-ae is if you’ve never heard of it.
What is goma-ae ?
Goma-ae is a slightly sweet sesame soy sauce based dressing.
At it’s most basic level, it’s made with three ingredients:
- white sesame seeds
- soy sauce
Some recipes may call for other ingredients like sake or mirin, which can enhance the flavor.
Goma ae is used to season all kinds of vegetables.
My top three favorites include spinach, green beans, and moyashi or bean sprouts.
When seasoning your vegetables, goma-ae is not meant to be used heavily.
So if you love slathering your dressing all over your salad (like I do), this won’t be as saucy!
It should provide just the right amount of flavor so that you can enjoy the natural flavor of the vegetable you’re using.
And like many Japanese recipes, this side dish offers up a fine balance between sweet savory and has lots of umami!
So now that you know what goma-ae is, want to know what’s special about this recipe?
Black sesame seeds (kurogoma 黒胡麻）
Today we’re switching things up a bit and using black sesame seeds!
If you haven’t tried using black sesame seeds before, they’re as versatile and tasty as white sesame seeds.
And yes they taste different! In a good way!!
Black sesame seeds can be used for both sweet and savory recipes.
I think they add a unique and nutty flavor to all things they accompany. As I’m sure those of you who like black sesame will surely agree 🙂
Now that I think of it… I must like mostly sweet things with black sesame like… kurogoma (black sesame) ice cream, kurogoma purin (pudding), or even baked goods like cakes and breads!!
Some of my favorite ways to eat black sesame seeds!
What are yours?!
Making Japanese food doesn’t need to take a long time.
Do you ever find yourself hungry or impatient while cooking?
I know I do.
And when that happens I’ll start having a taste of what I’m cooking before it’s done.
The good thing about this recipe for those situations?
Goma ae is easily made and so are the vegetables.
You can serve it warm (hot) or cold!
Just make sure to read my tips below for serving it cold.
Here’s a short video that demonstrates how to make this Japanese Side Dish | Green Bean Goma Ae (Sesame Soy Dressing) 🍴
(just make sure not to spill your sauce 😉
Tips for making green bean goma-ae
- Lightly salt your boiling water and don’t overcook your beans (that means 2-3 minutes max cooking time)!
- Running under ice cold water ensures the cooking stops and also gives you a vibrant dark green color, this is key!! ☝
- Toast your sesame seeds for extra flavor, and if you really want as much flavor as you can get, grind all of them, rather than just 70-80% (which is what I prefer)
- You’ll need a suribachi (すり鉢) or hand grinder (like this one) to grind the sesame seeds, but if you don’t have them you could also use a food processor. Either way, the key to making this little dish a success is grinding freshly toasted sesame seeds!
- Double or triple the green beans and goma ae dressing But don’t mix! if you mix the dressing and let it sit overnight, water will leak out and dilute it. Save yourself the disappointment and don’t add the goma ae until just before eating *** This is key if you want to eat it cold!
NOTE: Back in the day, I used to use the little seasoning packets to make goma-ae for the sake of convenience. After I began making the goma-ae seasoning from scratch though, I used the packets less and less often. Want to know why? The flavor. The flavor is just so much more robust and full, as compared to the mix. Try it and see for yourself!!
Not sure what to serve it with?
Could go well with any Japanese themed meal….
But if you want a specific suggestion I’m a little partial to this arrangement-
Whether or not you’ve used black sesame seeds before, this could be your next new favorite way to eat them. It’s one of mine!
Oh and here’s another way you can make goma ae, this one’s with bean sprouts also known as moyashi – Moyashi Goma-ae (mung bean sprouts with sweet sesame soy)