Green Beans with Creamy Miso Sauce

Following up on our miso article, here’s a quick and easy recipe that’s low in calories and high in flavor. I learned this in Elizabeth Andoh’s kitchen a few years ago, and it’s one I rely on all the time. Instead of roasting and grinding sesame seeds, Andoh uses neri goma (roasted white sesame paste that comes in a tube) as a shortcut. For our lesson, she served the sauce with Manganji peppers.  She suggests poblano peppers in the U.S.,  but I use this sauce most often with green beans.


Serves Four

Wash and sort the beans. Cut or break them in half, or into bite-size pieces. Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a roiling boil. Boil the beans for 2-3 minutes, or until they turn bright green. They should still be crisp. Drain the beans into a colander and cool with cold running water.

To make the sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of Saikyo miso with 1 tablespoon of neri goma (roasted white sesame paste). The mixture will be very thick. Gradually add dashi, one tablespoon at a time, until the dressing has the consistency of thick cream.

Arrange beans in a bowl and spoon sauce on top. Garnish with a few white sesame seeds. Alternately, place a serving (stacked neatly) on a small individual plate. Pictured above is  a chrysanthemum-shaped plate by Kyoto ceramic artist Saiko Fukuoka.

NOTE: Leftover sauce can be kept in the fridge for a few days. It’s great on grilled eggplant, roasted chilies (choose poblano or mild green chilies. They should not be too spicy or they will overpower the subtle flavor of the sauce) and boiled spinach.

We’ve featured this recipe as part of our suggested Spring menu on Savory Japan.