Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sesame Miso Dressing

I have been really liking brussel sprouts lately.

So much so, that I've been making them once a week for the past few weeks.

Today, when I was thinking about how to make them different, I decided upon a sesame miso sauce. 

The sauce is called goma ae.

Goma ae translates as sesame dressing.

There are a lot of different ways to make goma ae, the base is ground sesame seeds.

I grew up eating goma ae on all kinds of vegetables, sometimes it would have miso and sometimes it would be made with shoyu (soy sauce for the uninitiated). 

It's sweet--and tangy.


Brussel sprouts
olive oil

3 tablespoons shiro miso
2 tablespoons agave nectar or sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons orange muscat champagne vinegar

I bought these at Costco, but I actually like the brussel sprouts from Trader Joe's better.

At Trader Joe's, the brussel sprouts look a lot better.

To me, anyway.

To get them ready for cooking, I wash them, sliced off the end that's attached to the stem, and slice the brussel sprouts in half.

Then blanche them in boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for about 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, so the oven will be hot when you're ready to roast them.

They should be bright green.


Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the brussel sprouts and add salt and pepper to taste.

You don't need to add much salt because the miso is salty.

Stir well.

Transfer the sprouts to a baking sheet and roast in your preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned.

If you broil them for the last 5 minutes, they will have a nice color.

Today I have white sesame seeds that are already toasted, iri goma.

Sesame seeds are easily toasted in a pan on top of the stove, if you have raw sesame seeds.

When they start to 'pop' or jump, they're done.

I grind them in a suribachi.

You can grind them in a coffee/spice grinder or in the blender, but I like to use a suribachi because I remember my grandmother using one to grind sesame seeds.

It's very satisfying to me to grind them by hand.

I like the aroma of the ground seeds.

And I like hearing the seeds pop and snap as they're crushed.

Take the brussel sprouts out of the oven when they're done how you like them.

I like them soft, but not mushy.

Add 3 tablespoons miso.

I like this Hawaiian miso for it's mild flavor.

2 tablespoons of agave nectar or sugar.

You can use a little less agave nectar because it's sweeter than sugar.

And two tablespoons orange muscat champagne vinegar.

I love this vinegar.

It's got such a fresh, citrus-y taste.

Then add 1 tablespoon mirin or water.

Mix until smooth and well blended.

Add a scoop on top of the brussel sprouts or mix together.



I've been trying to get my dad to write down his personal history.

I think it would make a great book.

I've realized that he does best in an interview rather than with pen and paper.

I saw him writing an email to his friend in Japan the other day, and using the computer is pretty much out--that would take way too long.

My dad's name is Teruo.

He said, the way it's written, the kanji, means 'sunny boy.'

It makes me wonder if my dad was a sunny boy when he was little.

That's him in the front row, second from the right.

My grandmother is in the middle, Kohide.

I'm named after her.

Hideko, that's my middle name.

When I went to Japanese language school when I was little, I didn't know how to write my Japanese name in kanji. 

Neither did my parents.

So the teacher said I could choose how I want to spell it, which meant, I could pick the meaning.

One way of writing Hideko meant 'intelligent'.

The other one the teacher showed me meant 'sun rising', so my whole name would mean 'sun rising over the sea shore'.

I picked that one.

That has bothered me a little my whole life.

I had been thinking--

Why didn't I choose 'intelligent'!

That makes me laugh.

I kind of hear a voice in my ear saying,

'Kind of obvious, isn't it?'

No printable recipe for this one yet.


  1. Oh, Karolyn, the roasted brussel sprouts looks so delicious!! I could just eat those with rice.

    It's because you're already intelligent, you don't need it as your name. Besides, 'sun rising over the sea shore' is more poetic, and that's why you picked it. :)

  2. LOL! You are too funny, Karolyn! :D ... I can honestly say I've never had a craving for brussel sprouts, but very oishisoo!

  3. Oh, those brussels must be delicious. I can't wait to try them on my own.

  4. =D I think it's a beautiful name, I love it! So I think you chose the right one, If I was you and I had chosen "Intelligent", that's what I would have regreted for ever!

  5. I LOVE brussel sprouts! Yay! I think you are both intelligent and the "sun rising over the sea shore"...by getting a choice, you really get the best of both worlds I think. Thanks for dinner last night!!!!