Jan 20, 2021

Sesame Recipes in the Japanese Way

The history of sesame is very old, it is said to have been cultivated in the African savannah more than 6000 years ago, and from there it is thought to have been introduced to various regions such as Egypt, India and China. In Japan, there are various theories, such as that sesame began to be cultivated in the late Jomon period, that it was mentioned in the “Taiho Ritsuryo” of the Asuka period, and that it began to be cultivated in the Nara period.

There are different types of sesame, such as white sesame, black sesame and golden sesame, each with a slightly different flavour and aroma. Sesame is an essential part of the Japanese diet and is particularly good with soya and fish, not only in terms of taste and compatibility but also in terms of enhancing each other’s nutrient benefits.

The nutrition of sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are a very nutritious food: in those tiny grains, they contain a wide range of nutrients, including good protein, fat, minerals such as magnesium and calcium, vitamins such as vitamin B1 and vitamin E, and dietary fibre.

Most of the fats are unsaturated fatty acids, which regulate blood triglycerides and cholesterol. Also, ‘gomarignan, which is said to have a high antioxidant effect, is attracting attention. The human body has a natural antioxidant capacity to remove active oxygen, but this capacity declines with age, so we need to supplement our diet with antioxidants. Sesame seeds contain gomalignan, which, when metabolised in the body, is said to have an anti-oxidant effect that removes active oxygen, i.e. an anti-ageing effect that slows down the rate of ageing.

In addition to its antioxidant properties, it is said to be effective in lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and relieving fatigue. It is important to consume one tablespoon daily.

Sesame Recipes

Sesame Miso Dengaku

1pc Yaki tofu (220g)
Mixture A
-1 tbsp each sugar, mirin, miso
-2 tbsp soup stock
1/2 tbsp ground sesame seeds (white)

1. Slice Yaki tofu in half horizontally, cut in half and drain.

2. Put Mixture A in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring, until thickened. Add ground sesame seeds and spread over above.

3. Bake in a toaster oven until browned colour (6-7 minutes) and sprinkle with sesame seeds (not included).

Horse Mackerel Tsukune

6pieces Grated horse mackerel (fillet a fish into 3 pieces)
Mixture A
-1/4 stick Long green onion (finely chopped)
-1 tsp Ginger (grated)
-3 pieces Green shiso (shredded)
-1 tbsp Potato starch
-Salt (as needed)
Mixture B
-1/2 tbsp each sake, mirin and soy sauce
-1/2 tbsp salad oil
1 tbsp ground sesame seeds (black)

1. Remove skin from horse mackerel and put into food processor.

2. Add Mixture A and mix, then divide into 12 pieces and form into a round shape.

3. Put oil in a frying pan and fry 2 on both sides, then add Mixture B and sesame seeds.

In cooperation with ShinSei.


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