This refreshing Japanese dish of green beans tossed with sesame dressing (gomaae) is made with 3 ingredients. Mix sesame paste with soy sauce. Then toss with blanched green beans. So many flavors and textures! It also happens to be very easy to make.
Why This Recipe Works
This vegetable side dish (which is also referred to as a salad) comes together quickly. It's easy to prepare but actually looks a little fancy if you didn't realize how simple it was heheh ^_^
You can serve the dish right after you make it or let it cool in the fridge a bit. Both ways are delicious, it's just about personal preference.
This dish can be prepared in advance (just make sure to serve it the same day). It's super good for family dinners and potluck parties.
We are lucky to be surrounded with great Japanese food in Hawaii...and really, all types of Asian food. Hawaii is one of the most amazing places to eat and explore. I always look for this dish on the menu of Japanese restaurants and whenever we get takeout bentos. It's simple and nourishing but also super ono.
The green beans are quickly blanched and tossed with the sesame paste and soy sauce mixture. The nutty, roasted notes of sesame and savory soy sauce come together beautifully with green beans.
Because you can use this sesame dressing with many other vegetables (spinach is especially popular), it's a great way to work more vegetables into your daily meals.
What Is Gomaae?
Gomaae is a Japanese word:
- Goma - means "sesame seeds."
- Ae - refers to "dressing," as in dressing vegetables.
We dress the vegetables (green beans) in sesame (sesame dressing). So it's green bean gomaae.
I've also heard this dish referred to as Japanese green beans or sesame green beans. I usually call it green beans with sesame dressing (or sesame sauce).
- Green beans - You can use any kind of fresh green beans, we love to use Haricots Verts which are very tender and so sweet.
- Sesame paste - You can also make your own sesame paste from roasted white sesame seeds. Or buy a jar of pure sesame paste. Note: The sesame paste will also come in handy for this wontons with sesame sauce dish.
- Soy sauce - We just use Kikkoman or Aloha soy sauce for this recipe. But if you have fancier soy sauce, now is the time to use it.
Sesame Paste Versus Sesame Seeds
This dish is traditionally made by grinding roasted white sesame seeds in a specific type of mortar and pestle called suribachi.
Because we don't have a suribachi at home, we use sesame paste.
If you have a suribachi, feel free to replace the sesame paste with roasted white sesame seeds. Grind the seeds by hand and then mix with the soy sauce.
Step by Step Directions
Prepare the green beans.
Boil water, cook the green beans for 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
Tip: It's important to run the green beans under cold water because this stops the cooking process and helps to preserve the vibrant green color. You can also quickly drain and put the green beans in a big bowl of ice water.
Trim the green beans.
Trim off the ends and cut each green bean in half.
Mix the dressing.
Mix together the white sesame paste and soy sauce. The result should be a thick, sticky paste.
Toss and mix.
In a bowl, gently mix together the green beans with the sesame paste and soy sauce mixture.
Serve immediately or serve lightly chilled. Enjoy!
FAQs and Tips
1-2 days in the fridge, but best enjoyed the day you make it.
Serve it as a side dish or an appetizer.
A great meal would be a big bowl of rice, a piece of Misoyaki Butterfish (which we just call miso butterfish in Hawaii), and a small dish of green beans with sesame dressing.
You could even make Furikake Salmon or Kalua Pork and Cabbage in place of the miso butterfish. Options are endless! Just think of this as your vegetable side dish.
Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables so I usually make green bean shiraae. But! This dish is actually more popular made with spinach.
To make it with spinach: banch the spinach then drain and run under cold running water. Once cool, squeeze out excess water, then chop and toss with the sesame dressing.
Ooo yes, we LOVE green beans. Try our recipes for:
- Garlic and Ginger Green Beans
- Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong) and Green Beans
- Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae) - super similar to this recipe but with the addition of tofu and miso (all blended together) to make a creamy (vegan!) dressing.
Green Beans with Sesame Dressing (Gomaae) Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- Boil water, cook the green beans for 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water (to stop the cooking and preserve the vibrant green color).
- Trim off the ends and cut each green bean in half.
- Mix together the white sesame paste and soy sauce. The result should be a thick, sticky paste.
- In a bowl, gently mix together the green beans with the sesame paste and soy sauce mixture. Serve immediately or serve lightly chilled. Enjoy!