In my last article I have told you how I follow a plant-based diet while travelling. The idea for this article came spontaneously during my three-week trip in Japan. There, it was in fact not always easy to get plant-based dishes. However, I discovered and tried a lot – which was absolutely worth it. I really like the Japanese cuisine. Often, the foods such as rice, noodles, vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, etc. were not very flavorful. Crucial for the taste was the sauce. And whenever I found sesame sauce on my dish, I was very happy because it was generally really really delicious. At the same time sweet, slightly acidic, with intense sesame flavor and the Japanese touch due to the soy sauce. Once I was back in Switzerland, I tried to make it myself. My first attempt contained about 10 ingredients. Only at the second attempt, I realized that it actually requires only 5 ingredients. Like this, I absolutely loved my homemade sesame sauce. And it’s also like this that I want to share it with you now!
These are the five ingredients that you need for the sesame sauce: sesame, dates, soy sauce, red balsamic vinegar and mirin.
Roast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a skillet. Stir from time to time in order to prevent them from burning. Once they are a little darker and develop a smell, you can take them off the heat.
Mix the roasted sesame seeds with the remaining ingredients of the sesame sauce, 1 tsp salt and 300 ml of water.
Blend the sauce with a hand blender or other kitchen appliance.
Cut the vegetables into small pieces.
Then, chop the ginger.
Fry the ginger with the sesame oil in a medium pot.
Add the vegetables. Fry them briefly, add 1 tsp salt and cover the pot. Let the vegetables cook on low heat. Maybe you need to add some water so it doesn’t burn.
Cook noodles of your choice. We like to use wholegrain spelt spaghetti for this recipe. If you want it a little more Japanese-like, you can also opt for soba noodles. These are made from buckwheat flour and are therefore gluten-free. For a gluten-free version, you should check on the package, if they really contain 100% buckwheat flour.
Serve the sauce with the vegetables and noodles. Sprinkle the nori seaweed and a little black sesame on top.
NOODLES WITH JAPANESE SESAME SAUCE AND GINGER VEGGIES
gluten-free, lactose-free, plant-based (vegan), wholegrain
Level of difficulty: easy (the sauce is very easy)
For the sesame sauce
- 100 g/3.5 oz sesame
- 8 dates (pitted)
- 3 tbsp red balsamic vinegar
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
For the vegetables
- 1 eggplant
- 2 peppers
- 5 g/0.2 oz ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (or cooking oil)
- 4 tsp nori seaweed
- 400 g/14 oz noodles (we use wholegrain spelt spaghetti, for a gluten-free version you can use Japanese soba noodles)
- black sesame (optional)
- Roast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a skillet. Blend them with the other ingredients of the sesame sauce, 1 tsp salt and 300 ml of water.
- Cut the vegetables into small pieces and chop the ginger. Fry the ginger with the sesame oil in a medium pot. Then, add the vegetables and 1 tsp salt. Cover the pot and let it cook on low heat. If necessary, you can add a little water.
- Cook the noodles according to package instructions.
- Serve the sauce with the vegetables and noodles. Sprinkle the nori seaweed and a little black sesame on top.
Have fun preparing this super simple and addictive sesame sauce!
P.S. If you like the recipe, please like it and share it on social media. Thank you!