I needed a snack this afternoon, so of course I grabbed my camera and started cooking! I decided on steamed baby bok choi sprinkled with gomashio, a Japanese condiment made from sesame seeds and salt.
Gomashio is delicious when made fresh at home (which you can do)! You will need a suribachi, which is an inexpensive ceramic mortar with a wooden pestle that you can buy at your local Asian grocery store. I paid $14 for ours. The rough ceramic easily grinds the sesame seeds and salt together into a yummy topping. Plus it looks great in the kitchen!
The recipe for gomashio is 1 part salt for 18 parts sesame seeds.
For ease of measurement you can use 1 cup white or black sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I used iodized sea salt). Preheat the oven to 400 and toast the seeds on a baking sheet for 2 minutes, until just fragrant and lightly toasted. Then add the salt and sesame seeds to your suribachi (or large mortar & pestle) and grind until the seeds look about 80% pulverized. There should be some hulls still intact but mostly pulverized. Gomashio will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Baby bok choi is so delicious! I just recently started eating it in this simple way: just slice and steam. Rinse 5 or 6 heads of baby bok choi, then slice them in half lengthwise. Lay the sliced bok choi in a large pot with a steaming basket and 1 inch of water. Cover tightly and steam over medium high heat for 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Remove the bok choi with tongs. Serve on a plate or over cooked brown rice.
Top the bok choi with a sprinkle of your fresh gomashio and a few drops of umeboshi vinegar. Umeboshi (literally “dried plums”) often come pickled in vinegar, but you can get the vinegar by itself from your natural food store. The vinegar is VERY salty, so I use just 3 or 4 drops at a time. The flavor is unique, and worth a try!
You can enjoy a snack of any steamed vegetable served in this way. Try carrots, leeks, and cabbage. Enjoy! Our little one did. :)