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.
Creamy Sesame-Vinegar Dressing
Furokkori no Gamazu-ae
4 servingspage 103
- 1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
To 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
add the soy sauce,
grinding to make a smooth paste. The dressing begins to look creamy.
Thin 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.
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