This recipe is adapted from Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh (Ten Speed Press 2005). The sauce can be tossed with any green, or even used as a dip for carrots and cucumbers.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame paste*
1 1/2 tablespoons shiro (sweet, white) miso
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons seafood stock or water**
16 ounces green beans
1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame seeds (optional)
*Available in Asian grocery stores. It is called shiro neri goma, or smooth white sesame paste.
** Available fresh at local fish markets or packaged in grocery stores
In a bowl, mix the sesame paste with the miso, stir with wooden spoon or whisk to blend completely. Taste, and if it seems too sweet, adjust the seasoning with salt. Blend by hand again until smooth. Thin the mixture with stock or water, one spoonful at a time. Set aside.
Clean the green beans, snapping off the ends. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the beans and cook for 1 minute or until bright green. Drain the beans then let cool at room temperature.
Toss the green beans in the sesame-miso sauce just before serving and garnish with sesame seeds.