Spinach and Shiitake Oshitashi with Goma-ae (Roasted Sesame Dressing)
Blanch spinach and shiitake
- Rinse the spinach well. If the stalks are rather large and tough, pick the leaves and discard the stalks. Otherwise, include the stalks in the dish and just roughly chop everything.
- Boil water in a large pot and add a teaspoon of salt. Blanch the spinach for about a minute. Scoop out and drain (keep the water in the pot boiling).
- Dump the spinach in a bowl of iced water. Drain. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- Dump the sliced shiitake in the boiling water, cook for a minute, drain well and toss with the cooled spinach.
Make the goma-ae
- Dry toast the sesame seeds in a pan until nutty in aroma and glistening.
- While the seeds are hot, grind using a suribachi (a regular mortar and pestle will do but will require a longer time to grind).
- Transfer half of the ground sesame seeds to a bowl and add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and blend the flavors.
Assemble the oshitashi
- Pour a tablespoon the dressing on the spinach and shiitake. Toss. Taste. Depending on how much spinach you have, you may need more than a tablespoonful of dressing. So, add more dressing, if needed.
- Drizzle some sesame oil, if using and don't overdo it, and toss a few more times.
- Top with the reserved sesame seeds and serve.
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