This is a classic Japanese recipe. It’s one of those sides you see tucked into a corner of a bento. Easily overlooked, but one of my favorites. You could also use black sesame, which also is delicious and looks more dramatic. I used a Japanese mortar and pestle to grind the sesame, but I’ve seen pre-ground sesame in the Japanese market—or even an instant packet that you just mix with the cooked green beans. If you want a non-MSG version, try the one below!
Sesame Green Beans | さやいんげんのごまあえ
Adapted from ぜひ覚えたいおかず
Makes 2 servings
2 oz. green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. shoyu
Place the toasted sesame seeds in a Japanese mortar and grind. Add the sugar and shoyu and grind. Set aside.
Boil the green beans over moderately high heat in 3/4 cups of water for 2 minutes. Strain, then put the green beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Strain again and cut the green beans in half, roughly into 2 inch pieces. It’s better to cut the green beans after cooking so they don’t get watery. Put them in the mortar with the ground sesame and mix well.