Tag Archives: Japanese

Green Beans with sesame Dressing

2 Jun

This is one of the most simple yet delicious cooked vegetable salads you can make. It is part of an immense repertoire of lightly cooked vegetables or ‘salads’ in Japanese cuisine and one of my favourite ways of eating green beans. This salad is best served at room temperature so it can be made in advance and keeps or travels well, so great for picnics or dinner with friends. Serve as a side to rice and grilled fish or with a number of small salads.

  • 250g  green beans
  • 1-2 tbsp tamari or light soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan or skillet until golden brown, leave to cool then lightly crush, in a pestle and mortar, to release their flavour. Pinch off the growing end from the beans and pop into a pan of boiling water for a few minutes until the beans turn bright green and a little soft but still crisp then plunge into cold water to halt cooking and preserve their colour. Toss the beans with the soy and sesame and arrange in a serving dish. Serve at room temperature.

Cooks Note This dish can be made in advance and the salad will keep very well for a day so great for picnics or a packed lunch.

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Noodles with Peanut Dressing

8 Aug

Noodle salads are perfect summer lunch fare they also travel well so they make excellent picnic or lunch box food. This salad is dressed with crushed peanuts and oriental seasonings along with fresh cucumbers and mangetout from the garden, but you can use whatever is in season.


Serves 2  Prep and cook time 10 minutes

  • 2 servings of Soba or other oriental noodles
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • green onions or garlic chives
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1-2 tbsp rice vinegar or lime/lemon juice
  • chilli (fresh, ground or flaked) to taste (optional)
  • roasted peanuts, crushed
  • vegetables such as cucumbers and lightly cooked green beans or mangetout

In a large pan of water. Boil the noodles, for 3-7 minutes depending on the variety and packet instructions, until just cooked. Meanwhile slice the onions and put into a wide serving bowl along with the remaining ingredients, mix well to dissolve the sugar. When the noodles are cooked drain and toss in the dressing mixture. Serve hot or cold, and for a robust meal with some korean small dishes such as Green Onion Relish or Beansprout Salad .

Cooking Tip. It is important to slightly under cook the noodles when making this salad and any vegetables raw or lightly or cooked to keep the ingredients fresh so they are at their best served cold.
Noodles soba are a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat which comes in a number of varieties and flavours, the ones use in the picture above are flavoured with une plums, you could also use rice or mung bean noodles or even whole wheat spaghetti makes a great alternative.

Cucumber & Seaweed Salad

10 Jun

This is a Japanese style vinegared salad, very quick and easy to make. A cross between a salad and a fresh relish or pickle, it combines raw cucumber with hydrated seaweed and a little vinegar dressing. Seaweed is a great food stuff, it makes a lovely light side salad or pickle and is an excellent source of minerals.

  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed

Dressing I
1 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tsp salt

Dressing II
1 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce

Dressing II
1 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp caster sugar

Soak the seaweed for 30 minutes in hot water. Peel the cucumber, cut in half and remove the core of seeds then slice each half into half moons or into small bite size batons, whatever you prefer. If the cucumber is very crisp and dry fleshed that is all you need to do if it is watery or a little bitter put the sliced cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with salt leave to weep for 30 minutes. Meanwhile make up the dressing. Drain the seaweed and keep the liquid for adding to soups or making dashi. Drain the cucumber and mix everything together serve chilled or at room temperature.
Note Seaweed is said to have a beneficial effect on the Thyroid, and because Rachel’s is packing up, I try to include seaweed in our diet whenever I can.
Original post 10/6/2008