Green beans are a staple in my freezer and we eat them often. I usually add them to stews or curries or stir-fry them with garlic and chillies. I was looking for another way to cook them when I remembered my ex-student’s parent (who was Japanese) who made a simple green bean dish by boiling green beans and topping it with sesame dressing. I went online to search for the recipe but came across this dish instead. Since I had most of the ingredients, I decided to give it a go. The first time I made this dish I didn’t have any soft tofu on hand so I just made the sesame dressing. It still turned out delicious and the hubs and I enjoyed it. The second time round (pictured), I added the tofu and it was also good. The tofu adds a nice textural element to the dish. This dish can be eaten both warm and cold. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t overcook the green beans. After removing the beans from the pot, I usually plunge the beans in cold water to stop them from cooking. Fresh beans also also a must for this dish. Frozen beans don’t fare so well as they aren’t as crisp, but in dire situations they will still work.
Green Bean Shira-ae Salad
(taken and slightly adapted from here)
- 2 cups (roughly) green beans, cut off the ends, cut into about 3 inch pieces
- ¼ cup firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds (I used black roasted sesame seeds)
- 2 teaspoons awase miso or white miso
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce (I used Japanese soy sauce)
- Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes or more. You want the beans to be cooked, but still crisp. Plunge in cold water to stop the beans from cooking.
- Remove tofu from package and pat dry.
- Grind the sesame seeds in a Japanese grinding bowl (click here for picture) or you can also use a coffee grinder.
- Add the miso, sugar and soy sauce and mix together.
- Mash in the tofu and mix together.
- Combine the tofu mixture with the green beans.
- Serve warm or cold.