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String Beans in Thick Bean and Sesame Sauce (Ingen No Goma Miso)

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“The sauce is also good with fresh-cooked asparagus, broccoli, or cauliflower. From Elizabeth Andoh's classic "At Home With Japanese Cooking".”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 lb fresh string bean
  • 2 tbsp.saikyo miso (light bean paste)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds


  1. Wash and trim the beans. Bring salted water to a rapid boil and cook the beans in it for 3-4 minutes. They should still be bright green and crisp. Drain them and let them cool naturally before cutting them into one-inch lengths.
  2. Mix the bean paste, sugar, and sake together in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has melted and the sauce is satiny. Remove from the heat and let cool while preparing the sesame seeds.
  3. In a heavy skillet, dry roast the seeds over medium heat, then transfer them while still warm to a suribachi (Japanese grinding mortar) and grind them to a smooth paste. If using a blender or food processor you will need to double or tripe the batch to have enough volume to engage the blades. Excess can be refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar.
  4. Add the bean paste sauce to the sesame paste and blend thoroughly to make a thick, smooth sauce.
  5. Toss the beans in the sauce lightly just before serving. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

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