Spring Recipes Salads and Vegetables

Asparagus gomae


It’s all about asparagus at this time of year and I can’t get enough of it. I grew up in the Wye Valley in Herefordshire where a huge amount of the asparagus we now eat comes from. Like anything seasonal, it really tastes best if you eat it now, at its peak time and asparagus, more than other vegetables, suffers from waiting around on the shelves too long – the stems become dehydrated and woody and the fibres stringy.

Apart from the classic preparations, which I love: asparagus with melted butter, with hollandaise sauce, with fonduta or in a risotto or pasta, this Japanese style sauce is another favourite way to dress those bright green spears.

Gomae is sesame, miso and mirin sauce often or more traditionally used to dress spinach but I found it’s strong, nutty flavour was excellent with asparagus too. It’s quick to make and any leftovers keep well in the fridge and you can use it on other green vegetables if you prefer.



Serves 4

  • 300g asparagus spears
  • 25g toasted white sesame seeds, save a few for scattering over at the end
  • 50g tahini
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25ml mirin


  • Boil the asaparagus in plenty of well salted water for 1-2 minutes or until tender but not floppy. Drain and refresh under cold water.
  • Pound the sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar until powdery and sticking together then stir in all the other ingredients to make a thick sauce.
  • Lay the asparagus on a plate and drizzle with the sauce and scatter with the remaining sesame seeds.


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