Japanese Coltsfoot Gomae
Go mae, a Japanese method of serving vegetables, is a delicious way to enjoy coltsfoot, aka tussilage.
The method consists of grinding sesame seeds and adding sweet and salty ingredients to create a flavourful paste, which is used to dress cooked vegetables.
I’ve used the method for chrysanthemum greens in the past, and when I first tasted these coltsfoot, that’s what I was immediately reminded of, which lead to the creation of this dish.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) should be harvested in the spring when the stems and flowers emerge before the leaves show up. Simply cut the stems at the ground to harvest. Coltsfoot can usually be found near running water.
Senecionine and senkirkine, two potentially dangerous alkanoids, are present in coltsfoot in relatively high quantities.
There have been two alleged deaths connected with coltsfoot, both of which have since been debunked since the death-causing plant wasn’t actually coltsfoot, but was thought to be.
Still, there could potentially be liver damaging properties to the plant, so harvest and eat at your own discretion. Be sure to always correctly identify and use several sources to learn about plants before harvesting and eating.
- Prep Time10 min
- Cook Time5 min
- Total Time15 min
- Yield2-4 servings as a side
- 2 tablespoons (18g) sesame seeds
- 2 big handfuls coltsfoot flowers and stems
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) mirin
- 1 teaspoon (4g) white sugar
Add the sesame seeds to a dry pot over medium heat.
Toast the seeds, tossing and stirring, for about 4 minutes or until they turn golden and small nice and toasty.
Transfer to a mortar and pestle to cool.
Fill the pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
Add the well-washed coltsfoot stems and flowers and cook for 3 minutes.
Drain, run under cold water, and squeeze as dry as possible.
Cut into smaller pieces.
Add the salt to the sesame seeds in the mortar and pestle and grind until about 3/4 of the seeds have been ground into powder.
Add the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and mix well.
Toss into the coltsfoot so that each one is coated in the pasty sauce. Serve immediately. Enjoy!