Thursday, November 1

Black Sesame Green Beans

These green beans are one of those all-purpose sides that work well hot or cold, so definitely make twice as much and eat some for leftovers. The beans get blanched and then tossed with a sweet and spicy black sesame paste (seen here) that coats the vegetables and adds tons of flavors. I like to keep the beans a little bit al dente, so that they hold their shape and have a little crunch left. It's a great accompaniment to a piece of fish (like this, this, or this) and both the paste and the beans can be made far in advance of serving.

Black Sesame Green Beans:

  • Toast 1 tsp. chopped walnuts and 1 tsp. sunflower seeds in a skillet for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in 1/2 c. black sesame seeds* and continue to toast for about 1 minute, being careful not to burn anything.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mortar and pestle** and pound until a sand-like consistency.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. mirin, 2 tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and add in 10 oz. trimmed green beans.
  • Cook beans for 5-7 minutes, or until al dente, then drain in a colander.***
  • Toss beans with the sesame paste and serve.

Serves four (side dish)
*Can substitute with regular sesame seeds if necessary.
**Or use a food processor.
***If you want to serve the beans as a cold salad, immediately transfer drained beans to a bowl of ice water.