From the Oregonian Foodday, Adapted from "The Japanese Kitchen" by Kimiko Barber
Instead of green beans, you can use whatever seasonal vegetable strikes your fancy. Snow peas, spinach, asparagus, fava beans, persimmon, apples, pears or sautéed mushrooms all go well with this simple dressing.
- 10 ounces soft silken tofu
- 14 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half (3 to 3 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (divided; see note)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sake (Japanese rice wine)
- 1 pinch salt
Wrap the tofu in paper towels, place a plate on top, and allow it to drain for 30 minutes.
Blanch or steam the green beans for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and hold under cool running water until the beans are cool to the touch. Drain and pat dry.
Grind 3 tablespoons of the sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle until finely ground into a paste. Press the tofu through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Add the ground sesame seeds, sugar, soy sauce and sake.
Add the blanched beans and stir until beans are well coated. Season to taste with salt and additional soy sauce. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of sesame seeds and serve.
Note: To toast seeds, spread on baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown. Makes 4 servings.