July 25, 2011

sesame, soy and sugar

i have said it before.

but i ll say it again.

there is something very comforting in taking your time to cook. nothing too fancy, but nothing too frenzied either. and definitely something that evokes taste memories of your childhood.

so, take out your mother s mortar. you know, the Japanese one with the special grooves.

toast your sesame seeds (careful, don t let them burn), pour them into the mortar and start grinding.


let your hands do the work, while you savor the scent and think of nothing else.

calm down.

then add the other essentials, soy sauce, sugar and a tiny dash of mirin.

there you go. perfect. you don t need anything else now.

except for your vegetables. here are some French green beans.

oh, i could add this as a dressing for some carrots too, yes? or some lightly cooked spinach? gently grilled aubergine perhaps?

from 'Everyday Harumi' by Harumi Kurihara


50 gr white sesame seeds
1 or 2 tablespoons of fine white caster sugar
1/2 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt - to season
a little bit of water to let the sauce down, if too thick


  1. ohh yum! ive used those mortar before at tonkatsu restaurants where we gotta grind our own sesame sauce! looking at this recipe, its very similar to a sauce i make to mix with my noodles too! i love it!

  2. did you post that noodle-sauce recipe too Viv? would love to try that out!

  3. actually no i didnt! its something like:

    1/3 cup slightly toasted white sesame
    1/3 cup mirin
    4 tbsp water
    3 tbsp soy sauce
    1-2 cloves garlic

    i used a food processor to blitz them all together. but im sure with the mortar its even better :)