Black Sesame Otsu Recipe

The Black Sesame Otsu recipe from Super Natural Every Day - soba noodles and tofu slathered in a thinned-out, salty-sweet black sesame paste, then topped with lots of sliced green onions.

Black Sesame Otsu

I have a couple of things for you today. A new recipe. And a related teaser for something to come later in the week - a sampler PDF of six recipes & photos from Super Natural Every Day. The sampler includes some of my favorite recipes from the book, and I'm excited to be able to get some of the recipes into your hands. Finally!

Black Sesame Otsu Recipe

Take a peek above to get a sense of what the sampler is going to include. I'm including the recipe for Black Sesame Otsu in this post, down below. For those of you who liked the otsu recipe I included in my last book, I did this new version with a twist. I still use soba noodles and tofu, but everything gets slathered in a thinned-out, salty-sweet black sesame paste, and then topped with lots of sliced green onions. As a side note, the black sesame paste is pretty great on all sorts of other things as well - salads, spinach, roasted potatoes, green beans. Go to town with it.

Huge thanks to each of you who've pre-ordered the new book. I mean it, I feel fortunate to be able to work on projects like this. Ten Speed made a real effort to keep the price point reasonable, so the book is accessible to many. It is $13 on Amazon, and there are a list of alternate retailers on this page as well.

Black Sesame Otsu Recipe

One last late-breaking, book-related note. It looks like Super Natural Every Day is going to be published in the UK & Australia simultaneously with the US version. More news to come when I know more!

Other favorite noodle recipes include: this incredible vegan ramen, my favorite pad thai, and sriracha rainbow noodle salad. Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream is also really good, or browse this list of tasty noodle soups!

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Black Sesame Otsu Recipe

The black sesame paste I use here has become one of my standbys. I typically make extra for use on salads, broccoli, spinach, green beans, edamame, even roasted potatoes. You can make the black sesame paste a couple days in advance, if needed, and it's fine to use white sesame seeds if that's what is available to you. Lastly! Otsu leftovers make a great next-day lunch.

1 teaspoon pine nuts
1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g black sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mirin
Scant 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fine-grain sea salt
12 ounces / 340 g soba noodles
12 ounces / 340 g extra-firm tofu
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

Toast the pine nuts and sunflower seeds in a large skillet over medium heat until golden, shaking the pan regularly. Add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast for a minute or so. It's hard to tell when they are toasted; look closely and use your nose. Remove from the heat as soon as you smell a hint of toasted sesame; if you let them go much beyond that, you'll start smelling burned sesame - not good. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush the mixture; the texture should be like black sand. Alternatively, you can use a food processor. Stir in the sugar, shoyu, mirin, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Taste and adjust if needed.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, add the soba, and cook according to the package instructions until tender. Drain, reserving some of the noodle cooking water, and rinse under cold running water.

While the noodles are cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut into matchstick shapes. Season the tofu with a pinch of salt, toss with a small amount of oil, and cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, tossing every couple minutes, until the pieces are browned on all sides.

Reserve a heaping tablespoon of the sesame paste, then thin the rest with 1/3 cup / 80 ml of the hot noodle water. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, half of the green onions, and the black sesame paste. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve topped with a tiny dollop of the reserved sesame paste and the remaining green onions.

Serves 4.

Excerpted from Super Natural Every Day, to be published by Ten Speed Press, Spring 2011.

Prep time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


Heidi, that is so great that SNE will be available here in Aust at the same time as it's US release - cannot wait to see it!


Hey Heidi, I am a reader and a fan of yours all the way from Australia. I'm just wondering whether you would be able to put your book up for sale on the book depository website? It's just that the shipping for amazon to international countries and usually pretty hefty. Thanks! HS: Hi Cecilia, a number of people have now suggested this. Thanks! I'll def. look into it.


I love things with sesame. I made Japanese dish with green beans and a similar sesame sauce- can't wait to try this. So excited for the other recipes.


The black sesame paste sounds great--as does your book!


Hey Heidi, I really like the update on the design for the website! The fonts are so much more stark! The menu design also looks wonderful! HS: Thanks for the feedback Earl.

Earl Lee

Lovely looking sampler menu, Heidi. The yellow is very sunny, and I especially like the flourishes at the top and bottom. If this is any indication of how the new book is going to look, you're doing a great job. I can't wait for more peeks!


ooooo! i just go crazy for new ways to dress up soba noodles! so excited to try... this looks delicious.

Carly from Yummrs

Congrats on upcoming new book and UK/Australia publications, Heidi! I'm excited to try out more recipes from your new book :)


Great recipe- great pics.

Blog is the New Black

I'm really quite excited for your upcoming cookbook. The more recipes I try from your site, the more competent I feel in the kitchen (I'm a little bit addicted to the curried apple couscous). I've never used recipes that are so spot on as written. Thank you for your hard work and your joy in sharing. HS: Thanks for the nice note and the apple couscous reminder Beth - it has been a while, and I enjoy that recipe.


Would tahini be an acceptable sub. if you don't have black sesame seeds? Also, I'm so excited to see the millet muffins! HS: Hmmm. I'm thinking that might be an odd swap. Not 100% sure if it would work. I think the better call would be to try to track down the white/beige sesame seeds, or even one of the sesame pastes? I haven't worked out the exact measurements using the paste though - you could likely wing it to taste.

Honestly Good Food

What a great use for the jar full of black sesame seeds I have lying around. I would never have thought of something like this. Thanks, Heidi!

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks`

Millet muffins sound completely amazing!!!


The sampler menu looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

The sampler looks amazing, I can't wait to see the full contents of the whole book! And your sesame paste does sounds as if it would go great on a whole range of dishes, can't wait to give it a try.

Eating Bangkok

My husband pre-ordered Super Natural Everyday for me as a Christmas present and I can't wait to actually have the copy in my hands! So excited for the PDF!


Heidi, your sampler looks amazing! Congratulations on the book--I can't wait to pick up a copy!


Heidi I cannot count the number of times your recipes and stories have pulled me out of a cooking rut. Thank you :)


The Otsu recipe looks great, as does the sampler menu! Thank you for sharing it...


Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.