Growing up with a Japanese mom, it's always been traditional for me to end the year with a massive cleaning of the house in preparation for the upcoming year. The top-to-bottom cleaning (oosouji) removes the dirt of the old year and gets the home ready for a fresh and prosperous new year (shōgatsu). This year however, Mr. S. and I came down with that nasty flu bug that was going around just as New Year's approached. The end (and beginning) of the year were spent sleeping and puking. Coming off of that, last weekend we had to attend a funeral...so things like housekeeping have been on the backburner. Anyhow, this week...a week and a half into the new year...things are finally settling back to our "normal" chaos level. I've just got around to starting my New Year's cleaning...although, I did take a minibreak from chores to make a plate of these Japanese green beans with sesame dressing. Next year though, I'm going to be prepared and get a chore monkey to help out....
(photo from threadless)
Japanese Green Beans With Sesame Dressing (Christine's Recipes)
Tips: To get the best result, try to use the naturally brewed soy sauce to make the dressing. It brings in rich soy flavour and isn't too salty. Toast or dry pan fry the sesame seeds before use. When you smell the aroma, it’s done.
300 g green beans
35 g toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp sugar
100 ml Yamasa soy sauce (or any kind of Japanese soy sauce you like)
2 tsp mirin
salt, to taste
1. Rinse green beans and drain well. Trim both ends. Blanch in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. The beans should be cooked and still crunchy. Drain and immediately rinse in cold water. Pat dry.
2. To make the sesame dressing: Place the sesame seeds into a mortar (or use a food processor to process briefly, and make sure not to overprocess.) Grind the seeds until almost a paste, then add the sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. Mix well. Season with salt if needed.
3. Put green beans in a large bowl. Mix the sesame dressing with the green beans. Arrange in a serving bowl or a serving plate. Sprinkle with more toasted sesame seeds if desired.