Can I substitute tahini for Japanese sesame paste (neri-goma)?
I just came across a recipe for "Horenso No Goma Miso Ae" (Spinach with sesame miso sauce). It calls for Japanese sesame paste. I have tahini sitting in the fridge. Can I use tahini instead of the Japanese kind?
Sure! It won't taste exactly the same, because sesame is usually toasted in Japanese cooking. You could compensate for that by stirring a little toasted sesame oil into the tahini though, I think.
I'd try briefly toasting/cooking down a tablespoon or so of tahini, to make it a little dryer and give it more of a toasty flavor... (Still not quite the same thing, but closer)
Tahini won't taste the same but you can make the Japanese kind pretty easily by just toasting the sees in a pan and using a mortar and pestle, suribachi or grinder to make it into a paste which is how it is commonly done in Japan.