Creamy Sesame-Vinegar Dressing

Furokkori no Gamazu-ae

I can understand why Ms. Shimbo notes that this is one of the most popular salad dressings in Japan. I can’t think why I have not made it before!

Note that a traditional Japanese dinner menu does not usually include a raw vegetable salad as is common in the U.S. and Europe. Cooked, but still bright and crunchy vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, and even spinach (or, more likely, Japanese vegetables I can’t find here in Michigan) are often served with a dressing. Vegetables are very briefly cooked in boiling water and then plunged into cold water to keep the colors fresh.

I served this dressing on broccoli flowerets and halved Brussels sprouts to accompany the udon noodles. Though the picture was not good, the veggies were great. Mr. Tess noted that I must make this again. And so, I did.

toasting sesame seeds

Creamy Sesame-Vinegar Dressing
Furokkori no Gamazu-ae

4 servings
page 103

  • 1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted

shake-the-pan sesame seedsTo toast sesame seeds, heat a skillet large enough to hold the seeds in one layer over low to medium heat. When the skillet is hot, toss in the seeds and shake the pan vigorously.The seeds will plump up, sometimes even pop, and color to a nice toasty tan. Don’t burn them! If you buy seeds which are already roasted, toasting them again will bring out better flavor—already toasted seeds can sometimes taste rancid.

  • 3 Tablespoons Japanese sesame paste (or tahini—this is a real time-saver for this recipe because otherwise you must grind your own sesame seeds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons shoyu
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar (edit May 08 to suggest trying no sugar, but use Saikyo miso instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Dashi (edit May 08 to suggest: you can thin this dressing more than pictured here!)
  • a vegetable, lightly cooked

grinding sesame seeds in suribachigrinding sesame seeds in suribachiIn a suribachi mortar, grind the sesame seeds fine. Grinding this small amount of seeds is not onerous, but you can appreciate how much work the tahini is saving.


sesame-tahiniCreamy Sesame Vinegar DressingAdd that tahini, one tablespoon at a time, and continue grinding until it’s thoroughly mixed in. One at a time,

add the soy sauce,


making Japanese sesame dressingmaking Japanese sesame dressingsugar,


and komezu,

grinding to make a smooth paste. The dressing begins to look creamy.

making Japanese sesame dressingmaking Japanese sesame dressingThin with a bit of dashi; the consistency should be a bit thinner than hummus. Taste and add more seasonings as you like. This will keep covered in the refrigerator for a day or two. To serve, add the dressing on top of your vegetable.

Creamy Japanese Sesame Dressing

⇐ Previous Post Next Post ⇒
Udon: Stompin’ on the Noodles Braised Beef and New Potatoes

9 thoughts on “Creamy Sesame-Vinegar Dressing

  1. You made Goma-dare!! That is so amizing. And you have suribachi . Actually, my mother gave it me, when I got married. But I don’t use it. I buy always Goma Dressing or ,Creamy Sesame or surigoma .

    By the way, my sons don’t like broccoli.

  2. My husband bought the suribachi for me when I started this project. The surikogi is too small, but it was the only one he could find. It’s only 17 cm long and the wide end is only 2.5 cm in diameter! It is not so easy to grind with. Usually I use an electric immersion blender bowl, like this:

    When my daughter was little, I used to stand the broccoli up in mashed potatoes so they looked like a tiny forest of trees. Cauliflower was a forest in winter.

  3. I buy this dressing in HK, but I’m back in the UK and needed the recipe urgently. Yours was the first to come up and it is EXACTLY like the ones I buy… THANK GOD i had the ingredients! It was delicious – thanks so much for posting!

    • Hey Sharon! Thank you so much for letting me know how you enjoyed this recipe. The first time I made this, it seemed miraculous how it turned so creamy looking!

  4. My family really loves the taste of your sesame dressing. I used to buy the Japan imported version which probably contains too much MSG. Now I can prepare this at home with readily available ingredients. My son thinks it tastes every bit as good as the store bought one if not better. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Hi Polly,
      You are welcome. The recipe is from Hiroko Shimbo’s book The Japanese Kitchen. If you are interested in Japanese food I highly recommend it—lots of great recipes.

  5. It seems u really know a lot with regards to this subject matter and this demonstrates as a result of this particular
    blog post, termed Custom Shades “Creamy Sesame-Vinegar
    Dressing | Tess’s Japanese Kitchen”. I am grateful -Faustino

  6. Pingback: Japanese Sesame Dressing | Jasmine and Ginger

  7. Pingback: Japanese Sesame Dressing | Jasmine & Ginger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s