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Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae)

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This simple Japanese dish of green beans with a tofu dressing (shiraae) is super onolicious. Just blend tofu with sesame seeds, miso, and soy sauce to make the dressing. Then toss it with blanched green beans and enjoy! Both creamy and refreshing. Also happens to be vegan. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.

Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae) in a plate, ready to eat.
Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae), ready to eat!

Why This Recipe Works

This is not the prettiest dish, but oh man is it delicious!

There are 2 components to this dish:

  • Green beans
  • Tofu dressing

The tofu dressing is magic and can be used to dress up any many other types of vegetables (we often use it on spinach or broccoli).

It looks and feels creamy and yet is soooo light and full in flavor. The flavor comes mainly from a combination of roasted sesame seeds, miso paste and soy sauce.

The whipped, creamy texture comes from blending the tofu in a blender (we like to use a Vitamix to get a super smooth texture). You just add all the ingredients into the blender and blend! The pour it out and toss with the blanched green beans.

You can serve the dish right away. Or chill it in the fridge and serve later (just make sure to eat it the same day).

Sometimes I just eat this with a hot bowl of rice for lunch. Perfection.

We eat a lot of tofu in Hawaii. Stir fried, steamed, sautéed, and now blended as a dressing. We even have local fresh tofu shops! This is a great way to showcase a very beloved ingredient.

Ingredients for Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae) laid out on a table. Ingredients are green beans, tofu, miso, soy sauce, and roasted sesame seeds.
Ingredients for Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae).

Ingredients

  • Green beans - Can use any kind of green beans. We like haricots verts because they are thin, long, and so sweet.
  • Firm tofu - Don't use silken or soft tofu. We need to drain out as much water as possible from the tofu.
  • Roasted white sesame seeds - If you don't have roasted white sesame seeds, you can also substitute sesame paste (not tahini).
  • Soy sauce - We usually use Kikkoman or Aloha soy sauce. If you have fancier soy sauce, now is the time to use it.
  • Miso (white or red) - White miso is more commonly used for this dish, but both white and red miso work. We used red miso for this post.

Shiraae

Shiraae is a Japanese word:

  • Shira - means "white mixture" (which refers to tofu in this case).
  • Ae - refers to "dressing" as in dressing vegetables.

We dress the vegetables (green beans) in white (tofu dressing).

Step by Step Directions

Remove excess water from the tofu.
Do this by placing the tofu block on a shallow plate. Place a heavy lid or bowl on top of the tofu. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain off the excess water.

Tip: If you have extra time, you can repeat this step to get out even more water. We want to remove as much water as possible. Why? Excess water results in a watery dressing.

Prepare the sesame seeds.
Do this by gently toasting the sesame seeds over low heat in a dry pan for 3-4 minutes. The sesame seeds are ready when you can smell the warm, toasty scent (it smells amazing).

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 rinse under cold water. This cold water stops the cooking process and helps preserve the vibrant green color of the beans.

Trim the green beans.
Trim off the ends and cut each green bean in half.

Blend the dressing.
In a blender or food processor, add the tofu, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and miso. Blend until smooth. Scrape the mixture out into a bowl.

Toss.
Toss the mixture with the green beans.

Serve.
Serve immediately or serve slightly chilled. Enjoy!

Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae) in a plate, ready to eat.
Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae), super ono!

FAQs and Tips

How long does this dish keep?

Eat it the day you make it. If you must, it should be able to keep for a day but it might get a little watery (from the tofu).

Additions?

Yes! You can add shredded carrots, edamame, and/or hijiki to the dish. Mix the extra ingredients in while you're tossing the green beans with the tofu dressing.

How to serve?

This is usually served as a side dish or appetizer. It's also commonly appears as a bento component.

A delicious and simple weeknight dinner would be misoyaki butterfish (or furikake salmon), this green bean dish (or even this one!), and a big bowl of rice.

Subtitutions?

If you don't have Roasted white sesame seeds, you can also use pure sesame paste.

Sesame paste can be found at Chinese or Japanese markets. The sesame paste will also come in handy for this wontons with sesame sauce dish!

Please note: sesame paste is different from tahini. Tahini is made with raw sesame seeds. Sesame paste made from roasted sesame seeds. Big difference in flavor ^_^

Another dressing option.

We have another similar recipe called Green Beans with Sesame Dressing (Gomaae). It's almost the same except it doesn't use tofu or miso. Try check that out! They are both super ono.

Green Beans with Tofu Dressing Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae) in a plate, ready to eat.

Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shiraae)

Yield: Appetizer or side dish for 3-4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This simple Japanese dish of green beans with a tofu dressing (also called shiraae) is super onolicious! Just blend tofu with sesame seeds, miso, and soy sauce to make the dressing. Then toss it with blanched green beans and enjoy! Both creamy and refreshing. Also happens to be vegan. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.

Instructions

  1. Remove excess water from the tofu. Do this by placing the tofu block on a shallow plate. Place a heavy lid or bowl on top of the tofu. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain off the excess water.
  2. Prepare the sesame seeds by gently toasting the sesame seeds over low heat in a dry pan for 3-4 minutes. The sesame seeds are ready when you can smell the warm, toasty scent (it smells amazing).
  3. Prepare the green beans. 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).
  4. Trim off the ends and cut each green bean in half.
  5. In a blender or food processor, add the tofu, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and miso. Blend until smooth. Scrape the mixture out into a bowl.
  6. Toss the mixture with the green beans. Serve immediately or serve slightly chilled. Enjoy!

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