I’m the only one at home that likes cauliflower. Why is that? Is cauliflower THAT unpopular?
Growing up, I ate this regularly, probably as often as I ate broccoli, green beans, snow peas, eggplant, corn, asparagus, artichoke and all kinds of other vegetables. My mom was great at making sure we had plenty of veggies at dinner. Maybe I was just a weird kid because I loved so many vegetables?
Bebe Dada and Big Onechan no longer complain about eating salad regularly at dinner, and Big Onechan actually claims to enjoy them now, but they are still limited in the vegetables that they like, which is why I find ways to sneak them into many of my dishes. Bebe Dada is a bit more open to eating different vegetables but it wasn’t the case when I made cauliflower gomaae.
I don’t buy cauliflower often since I’m the only one that eats it, but when I do, I always steam 1/2 of it, throw it in the food processor and then hide it in a few family favorites such as meat sauce spaghetti and chicken curry. No one ever notices, and my secret is still safe since they don’t read my blog. :P
The other 1/2 of the cauliflower I eat all by myself, usually steamed, raw, or baked. On this night, I decided to make gomaae because I had a craving for this Japanese vegetable side dish that my mom used to make for us as an alternative to plain, steamed cauliflower.
Very simply, gomaae is a sesame dressing made of ground sesame seeds and a few simple flavor enhancers: soy sauce, sugar and sweet sake. When I was growing up, my mom made gomaae using so many different vegetables and it was a great way to spruce-up leftover veggies too. Some of the vegetables that my mom used for gomaae include:
- green beans
- bean sprouts
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 4 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon sugar, to suite your palate
- 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet sake)
1) Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces, then boil or steam for 10 minutes.
2) Using a suribachi or Japanese grinding bowl, i.e. mortar and wooden pestle, ground the roasted sesame seeds until the seeds are a rough powder.
3) In a separate bowl, mix together shoyu, mirin, and sugar. I recommend adding a little sugar at a time. I don’t like gomaae when it is too sweet and only added a little over 1/2 tablespoon. Add the seasoning mixture to the suribachi and mix with the ground sesame seeds.
4) In a large bowl, toss steamed cauliflower and gomaae dressing and voilà! Cauliflower gomaae!
Personally, I enjoyed this gomaae dressing with the steamed cauliflower, and it brought back good childhood memories. Bebe Dada ate a few of them, but then claimed that it made his stomach hurt. Uh, OK… This made me giggle and smile because I used to tell my mom that a food that I didn’t like gave me stomach aches too, just so I wouldn’t have to eat it! :) Next time, I’ll make gomaae using broccoli or green beans. These are veggies that are Bebe Dada and Big Onechan friendly.
Jya mata-ne! (Until next time!)