Thursday, March 11, 2010

Green Beans With A Sesame Dressing

When I saw this wonderful dish at the yummilicious 3 Hungry Tummies, my eyes literally lit up. I adore sesame seeds in cooking and baking, and upon seeing that it was a Harumi Karihara recipe, I knew it was a must-do. Remember her Carrot and Tuna Salad which I made? It was such a joy to eat!



Out of curiosity, I googled for the original recipe, and discovered that there are actually two versions of the same dish, from two different Harumi cookbooks! One is from her Japanese Cooking, the other is from her Everyday Harumi, which I am sharing below.

Here's what Harumi herself had to say about this dish:

Green Beans with a Sesame Dressing
From the book Everyday Harumi by Harumi Karihara

I love using both white and black sesame seeds in my recipes. They add texture, aroma, flavor, and color. I use a lot of sesame when cooking, and preparing vegetables with a sesame dressing is very common in Japan. I always prepare the dressing in advance and keep some in the refrigerator ready for use. Sesame seeds should always be toasted before use, taking care not to burn them. It gives them an extra-special flavor and makes them easier to make into a paste. If you cannot find sesame seeds or paste, you can use peanut butter or tahini as a substitute. Please experiment with this dressing — try combining it with other ingredients such as rice vinegar, miso paste, or dashi stock to make new sauces and dressings.

- 2 cups green beans
- 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp superfine sugar
- 1/2 tbsp mirin
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Salt, to season

1. Prepare the green beans: Lightly cook the beans in a pan of boiling water with a little salt, then drain and rinse under cold running water and pat dry.


Arrange on a serving plate after the beans have cooked.

2. Make the sesame dressing: Put the sesame seeds into a mortar, preferably a Japanese mortar with a grooved interior. Grind the seeds until they are almost a paste, then add the sugar, mirin, and soy sauce and mix well. Add a little salt if needed.



3. Mix the sesame dressing in with the green beans and serve.


I decided to add some toasted white sesame seeds for contrast. Yin and Yang. Ebony and Ivory. It don't matter if you're Black or White. OK, I'll stop.


Looks like caviar, doesn't it? (Aside, when I take shots like this, I really wish I had a DSLR. It's the first day of the IT Show today and I am summoning every ounce of self-restraint not to go down and get myself one. Boo hoo!)

Do take a look at 3 Hungry Tummies for a recipe comparison (based on Harumi's Japanese Cooking). The main ingredients are the same, only the proportions vary, so go ahead and adapt to your preferences. Suresh also shared some great ideas - like adding a dash of sesame oil and how to cut the beans - which I did and loved. Thanks bro, for the wonderful tips. :)


Last look before I mess things up.


Oishiii!

This is a refreshing, summery dish I would not hesitate to make again. In fact, it's perfect for the hot, dry spell that we have been cursed with lately. Bring on the cold food!

57 comments:

  1. I saw this, and wanted to try also, look refreshing and healthy.

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  2. O yum. It looks so special, delicious and light!

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  3. Interesting dish. The beans are french beans as they are known. I thought you were using the seed type also known as mung beans usually used in chinese dessert when I read 'green beans'.
    Anyway, looks delicious to make me want to try. Thanks.
    Judy

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  4. beautiful dish Ju! the contrast is spectacular. Ive bookmarked this too. have to try ^^

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  5. Jud: I KNOW!! Hahaha! I have always referred to these as French Beans. When I first saw the post name on 3 Hungry Tummies, I left a comment almost exactly like yours. I thought it was a green bean soup dessert topped with sesame!!! Well, Harumi's books both state "Green Beans", so I am merely keeping to the original. :)

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  6. Hi Ju, Holy Smoke! What a presentation! The Shangrila food manager and Bevarage manager should employ you.
    For a moment I thought you had caviar on the beans.
    It sure look delicious....sinfully delicious, ha ha. Outstanding!
    Ju, you are a class of your own, no 2 ways.

    Have fun and happy cooking, Lee.

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  7. Is it possible to love another blogger without having met her? hahaha The post you left on my churros post was just perfect. My mouth dropped LOL!! Thank you.

    This dish looks beautiful!!! Wow. Your photography continues to amaze me.

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  8. I love sesame...esp sesame salad dressing..going to grab a bottle soon!

    : )

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  9. Hehe, I thought it was dessert as well. Then I saw the pictures and kept wondering is it really sesame dressing and not black bean seasoning! But what an interesting take on this.

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  10. Hi Ju,
    I will try this, I absolutely love anything with sesame seeds and the more the better in my opinion! Hope you've been well and happy, I have missed your recipes quite a lot. Desperately need some new dishes!
    ~Tracie

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  11. love that yin yang! what? You mean you haven't been using a DSLR all along? could have fooled us!!

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  12. Oh wow! Love the idea of sesame dressing! Sounds fantastic!

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  13. Oh! We looked at the same recipe! I want to try this really soon as well.

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  14. Lovely greens, bet taste real good too!:)

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  15. Thank you for the mention Ju! :)
    I am going to try this version as well, your presentation is great! :)

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  16. Hi Ju,
    I love this. All the ingredients are something I love! Btw, why do you get mirin? Is it common in the supermarket? I shall try this one day...just one day! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  17. What a beautiful dish! Love the presentation. I love green beans. The sesame topping must have added great flavour to the beans....has to be very delicious.

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  18. The sauce sounds really interesting. A sure keeper. Will try it out.

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  19. I almost can't tell that the "caviar" is actually sesame?!

    Or I would have thought it was some kind of Chinese black bean dressing.

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  20. Wow Ju - you presented these beans so well! I am sure Harumi would be proud! The sesame dressing reminds me of caviar for some reason - you make it look so decadent!

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  21. I really like the look of this. The colour of the beans really contrasts against the deep black of the sesame. This would be a great summer entree.

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  22. Ju this dish looks stunningly beautiful and so delicious...

    Your pics are always fabulous. I would never know you were not using a DSLR...

    I am so hungry now after looking at these! I better go and have some breakfast!

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  23. I love the presentation of this dish!

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  24. Wow, your plating is picture-perfect - this could easily be in a glossy cookbook! Finally you can smell spring coming around here, and this is a must-make for the impending warmer weather. So beautiful and refreshing!

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  25. March down and get a DSLR..(I know..easier said than done.:))I actually sold little gold bullions I won at work over the past 27 yrs to get my Canon..Imagine.
    I am surprised you don't have one..Your photographs always reflect top of the line equipment..Not to say non DSLRs are not.I love my Nikons and Sony..LOVE them..But you would have a ball w/ one.
    You love photography..you love cooking..you now review restos..
    You have an eye also:) And you are young and smart and will learn all the settings..unlike me that shoots P..:) Sometimes..the little M on the lens:)

    Ok back to the post..It looks fabulous!

    JU..I bought thick chives yesterday w/ the little heads..so cute..and the nice girl recommended a long..many long harder stalks of very aromatic pungent..garlicky oniony green..somethings.. she said you know how to slat right?

    She got busy and now I am wondering..what did she mean? Do you know? They are for stir fries..and hardish:)

    Thank you!

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  26. Nice healthy dish, definitely worth trying out.

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  27. Oh my goodness Ju! It's morning here and I am craving a bite of this dish ~ thank you for introducing it. You have prepared and captured it so beautifully!

    No kidding? You're not shooting with a DSLR? You could have fooled me!! You work that camera like a PRO, my friend! Perfection ~ fine focus and lovely depth of field.

    Oooh... You're GOOD! :D Very nice job. xo

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  28. oh wow looks amazing I learn a sesame and cucumber salad the other day from my Japanese neighbor yummy

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  29. I love harumi! I bought her book for my mum and it took all my resolve to not keep it for myself :(

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  30. I'll try this dressing soon ! It seems perfect ! Thanks for the idea !

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  31. Yum, this looks delicious. What beautiful colors, too.

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  32. Love those photos and the way the beans look.. elegant presentation for a simple dish.. so gorgeous!!

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  33. Wow..good food presentation and picture quality. Had wanted to get Everyday Harumi..guess will be getting it soon

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  34. Ju you DON"T have a DSLR??? Now I'm just filled with shame over my own photography (done with a DSLR!) Your pictures are soooooo gooooood......

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  35. Looks great! So fresh and bright looking.

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  36. After seeing this dish on three tummies and now yours, I'm going to have to try it! It looks delectable!

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  37. What a fabulous looking salad...gorgeous! I love sesame seeds too and sprinkle them on just about anything.

    I really like the idea of grinding them which would release much more flavor.

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  38. Very intrigued with the sesame paste dressing. I am imagine it's a great salad!

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  39. Whoa, this is very healthy indeed and exotic at the same time =P

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  40. Not sure if it looks like cavier, it sure looks like a caterpillar munching on some greens!

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  41. Sam, that's exactly what my daughter said! LOL. I guess you both think alike!

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  42. looks very green and healthy =)

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  43. Oh, Ju, these are so pretty. I love your photos. I can't imagine how they could be better.

    This looks so elegant and summery. Sigh. I wish you could send us some of that heat--we had snow again last night.

    I've bookmarked this for when we have some nice beans. It looks like a keeper!

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  44. I actually eat green beans a lot as a side dish. Its cool to see another take on it. I'd like to try this :)
    Wishing you a fab weekend.
    *kisses* HH

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  45. Un piatto ricco di sapori, quella salsina davvero invitante. Buon fine settimana Daniela.

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  46. im a stone motar too!
    makes a good workout equipment hahaha!
    green beans! my favourite!
    then again.. i love my cabbages and broccoli too. heh.
    this looks interesting!
    simple and elegant. mm.

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  47. Beautiful dish with a touch of simplicity!! Healthy I'd say.

    Somehow, the black sesame dressing on top looks like caviar to me ... LOL!

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  48. Ju
    This is such an intriguing dish to me! First of all, I have never had black sesame seeds (although I adore the white ones! and their paste lol)
    Also it is simple and elegant. Now I feel like I must try them or I am missing something really special!

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  49. Everyday Harumi is one of my favourite cookbooks. I haven't tried this recipe but I will now that you have made it look so tempting.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  50. Haven't tried cooking with black sesame. The dish looks very tempting!

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  51. Can you believe that I can easily get the poppy seeds but not the black sesame seeds???!!
    I love this light, flavourful and aromatic green bean dish.

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  52. i love the visual aspect of your dish bravo to you Ju!! Pierre the french foodie

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  53. Love the presentation of this dish!! And Harumi's recipes are great!

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  54. Wow-this looks delicious-I found you through Sophie's food files.

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  55. I always enjoy reading your simple yet sophisticated and healthy recipes.

    Thanks for your well-wishes, I'm relocating to Beijing with my hb in April. Now the thing that bothers me most is that blogspot is blocked in China and I'll be cut-off from the rest of the blogworld... cut-off from these recipes when I really get the chance to cook... *sobs*..

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  56. My(Japanese) stepmother used to make this for me in NZ...Unfortunately I live in Austria now so I can't eat her cooking but I can make it myself - thanks for the reminder!

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