This is one of my favourite Japanese ways to serve vegetables – it is simple, quick to make and utterly delicious!
The key to the dish is toasting the sesame seeds, this adds a taste and aroma that marries perfectly with the sweetness of the dressing. Just be careful not to burn the seeds, as this will make the dish bitter. Of course, this dressing can also be used with other types of vegetables, like tender-stem broccoli, asparagus or even carrots to name just a few. Whatever your preferred vegetable though, it is vital that you cook them until just al dente.
Variations: Half a tablespoon of miso paste can also be added to the sesame dressing, however I would reduce the amount of soya sauce, as the miso will make the dish saltier.
Note: The sesame dressing makes a great onigiri filling, especially if you’ve added the miso paste!
Ingen no goma-ae (Green Beans in Sesame Dressing): Serves 4
- 200g green beans, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
- 50g sesame seeds (white or black)
- 1 tbsp. caster sugar
- 1/2 tbsp. mirin
- 1 tbsp. soya sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. white miso paste (optional)
- Fill a bowl with water and ice
- Par-boil the trimmed green beans for 3-4 minutes, taking care not to over-cook the beans
- Drain and immediately place the beans into the iced water for 5 minute
- Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan. Once toasted, set aside off the heat
- Take the beans out of the iced water and pat dry
- Crush the toasted sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar
- Add the sugar, mirin and soya sauce, mix until you have a smooth paste (add the miso if using)
- Combine the cooled green beans and the sesame dressing, mixing to combine
- Serve as a side dish to any Japanese meal