close up of broccoli gomaae on a plate

Broccoli Goma-ae | ブロッコリーの胡麻和え

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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!

broccoli gomaae on a plate with chopsticks

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!

broccoli gomaae ingredients

How to Make

Broccoli goma-ae is quick & easy to make!

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

No steamer?
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!

broccoli gomaae on a plate

More Tasty Japanese Sides!

close up overhead shot of broccoli gomaae

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

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!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Servings: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 small 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

Instructions

  • 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 sesame sauce to broccoli and mix well until broccoli is evenly coated.

Notes

Feel free to double the sauce ingredients depending on how much broccoli you have and how strong of a sesame flavor you want.
SOY SAUCE: I went light on the seasoning here so that this dish can be enjoyed with a saltier, flavorful main dish. But if you want to enjoy this on its own with rice or with a lighter dish, you can add up to 1 tbsp of soy sauce depending on your tastes. 

*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!

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