Crispy steamed broccoli melds with nutty, savory sesame in this easy Japanese side. This broccoli goma-ae is a tasty way to make veggies exciting!
What is Goma-ae?
Goma-ae is a common type of side dish in Japanese cuisine. Goma (胡麻）means sesame seed and ae (和え, pronounced ah-eh) refers to a dish mixed with a dressing. In this case, we are making a sesame dressing for our broccoli goma-ae! Goma-ae is more commonly made with spinach and green beans, but I love it with broccoli as well. However, feel free to use the same technique and swap in a different veg!
How to Make
Broccoli goma-ae is quick & easy to make!
- Steam broccoli — this can be done in a steamer on the stove or in the microwave. See the FAQ below for microwave steaming. Set aside to cool while you prepare the sauce.
- Toast sesame seeds if you’re starting from raw sesame seeds. You can toast them in a pan over medium heat, stirring/shaking the pan constantly to prevent burning. They’re ready when they start to turn brown and become fragrant (they should smell deliciously nutty).
- Grind toasted sesame seeds — traditionally with a pestle and mortar, but a blender/food processor may work as well (though you will likely need to grind a large amount of sesame seeds).
- Mix in seasonings, then toss with broccoli and you’re done!
Broccoli Goma-ae FAQ
No grinder or pestle and mortar?
No worries! There are a bunch of options:
-You can buy pre-ground toasted sesame seeds (called surigoma) at Japanese/Asian stores.
-If you have a Nutribullet*, you can grind sesame seeds with the milling blade. Or try it in a food processor or Vitamix. You will likely need to multiply the amount of sesame seeds (maybe 3 or 4x, depending on the size of your blender/food processor).
-You can also try Chinese sesame paste or tahini — but keep in mind tahini is a little bitter, so you may want to add 1/2-1 tsp of sugar to balance it.
Steam broccoli in the microwave! Place broccoli in a bowl and add a splash of water. Cover and microwave for 2-4 minutes until broccoli reaches your desired tenderness. (I use a Lekue* for quick and easy steaming of veggies.)
Can you use other vegetables too?
Yes! Goma-ae is a very common seasoning and you’ll often see it with spinach and green beans. Other tasty options are okra, leafy greens, bell peppers, and asparagus — but feel free to try it out with another veg of choice!
More Tasty Japanese Sides!
- Green Bean Goma-ae
- Sesame Miso Roasted Potatoes
- Tataki Kyuri (Smashed Cucumbers)
- Steamed Eggplant with Green Onion Dressing
- Cucumber Tsukudani (Simmered Cucumbers)
- Kinpira Gobo (Braised Burdock Root)
If you try out this broccoli goma-ae, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking. I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
Broccoli Goma-ae | ブロッコリーの胡麻和え
- 1 small/medium head of broccoli cut into florets
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 ½ tsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp soy sauce** or tamari for gluten-free
- 2-3 tsp water as needed
- Steam broccoli until desired tenderness is reached. It should take about 5-6 minutes on the stove, or 2-4 minutes in the microwave.
- Stovetop steaming: Fill a saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and place a steamer basket on the bottom. Bring water to a boil, then add broccoli to steamer basket. Reduce heat to medium and steam 5-6 minutes until tender.
- Microwave steaming: Place broccoli in a bowl and add a splash of water. Cover and microwave for 2-4 minutes until broccoli reaches your desired tenderness. (I use a Lekue* for quick and easy steaming of veggies.)
- Place broccoli in a large bowl and set aside to cool while you prepare the sesame sauce.
- Grind toasted sesame seeds. (Typically with a pestle and mortar, but you can try using a coffee/spice grinder, food processor, or blender. You may need to double or triple the quantity.)
- Add sugar and soy sauce and mix in with the ground sesame seeds.
- Add water as needed to make the sauce easier to mix with the broccoli.
- Add sesame sauce to broccoli and mix well until broccoli is evenly coated.
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