Pic of Ingen no goma-ae (Green beans in sesame dressing)

Ingen no goma-ae (Green beans in sesame dressing)

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Ingen no goma-ae (Green beans in sesame dressing)

Starter Serves 4 15 min
For this you'll need a spice grinder or pestle and mortar – grinding the toasted sesame seeds really releases their flavour. In Japan this quick and easy dish is a commonly served as a starter at room temperature, but it goes well with a vegetable stir-fry with noodles and tofu or chicken - or try it with fish. Instead of mirin or sherry, you could use a little sugar for sweetness.


  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp brown rice miso paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin or dry sherry
  • 300g green or French beans, topped and tailed


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min
  • Step 1

    Put the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. Heat gently, stirring now and then, until they turn a toasty brown colour (be careful not to burn them, they turn very quickly).
  • Step 2

    Grind half the seeds in a pestle and mortar. Add the sugar, miso paste, soy, mirin or sherry, mix together so you have a thick dressing.
  • Step 3

    Boil the beans in a pan of salted water (the salt helps keep the beans bright green) for 4-5 minutes, until tender but with a squeak when you bite into them.
  • Step 4

    Toss the beans in the dressing and sprinkle over the rest of the seeds to serve.