Green Bean Shiraae いんげんの白和え

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Green Bean Shiraae | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Sometime I wonder what kind of dish visitors look for when you come to my website.  Maybe majority of the time you are looking for a main dish that you can cook for dinner tonight.  As I had mentioned in my previous posts, typical Japanese meal consists of a bowl of rice, a bowl of miso soup, the main dish, and 1-2 side dishes (could be more).  It’s been a while since I posted a side dish so I want to share a popular green bean recipe.  Side dishes (Osouzai, お惣菜) are predominately vegetables (sometimes with very small amount of meat).  There are many popular side dishes that are not commonly known in the US.  In Japan, side dishes are a key part of a meal and there are even specialty stores that only sell cooked/prepared side dishes.

Today’s recipe is Green Bean ShiraaeShiraae (白和え) is a way of cooking – mixing lightly-cooked vegetables with crumbled tofu, miso, and sesame seeds.  Spinach and green beans are commonly used for Shiraae dish.  Enjoy eating vegetables!

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Green Bean Shiraae
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 cups (roughly) green beans, cut off the end
  • ¼ firm tofu
  1. Cut and take ¼ of tofu out from the package and place it on a plate so that it will dehydrate. Keep the rest of tofu in a container and pour water until it covers the tofu. Keep in the fridge and use it within a few days.
  2. Boil green beans until soft (please don’t overcook) and drain well. Cut into half.
  3. Grind sesame seeds and add miso, sugar and soy sauce.

  4. Mix green beans, tofu and sesame mixture all together. Serve cold or room temperature.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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    • Hi Kath! Haha, you are not a tofu fan even though you like Asian food? Did you try cold Tofu? It’s like a pudding. My husband keep telling me to post Hiyayakko (cold tofu) recipe… very simple, just cold tofu (out of package), put grated ginger/green onions/katsuobushi and pour soy sauce. Nice for summer, and we have many variations too!

    • Hi Three-Cookies! Yeah we tend to like very simple flavors and avoid oil too… Sesame + miso + sugar + soy sauce flavor is very nice. :-)

    • Hi Elle Marie! You like Okara? I have hard time eating Okara while growing up (mainly because it’s quite dry and hard to swallow), so I haven’t even cooked okara for my kids. But I guess I should try cooking for kids. Very healthy food too!

    • Hi Daphne! Try adding sugar (even a little bit) because miso + soy sauce can be too salty. Ground sesame seeds make the sauce mixture more like paste after mixing with seasonings. Hope you like the texture!

  1. Very unique side dish..I love green bean, but never tried it with tofu..I lean everyday from you! I really like this kind of side dish and the idea! I always have side dish with every meal that I make, even if it just a salad haha
    I love your photos too, very clear, and those green beans just pop, which is awesome!

    • Thank you Sandra! Shiraae (tofu & seasoning mixture) is very common in Japan. Japanese meal is too simple without side dishes but making several dishes can be time consuming. Thank you Sandra – but does this picture looks fake after edit too? LOL.

  2. I love tofu, I love green beans and this is a new way to enjoy both. In short, perfect for me. I am very tempted by suribachi… I saw it in three different sizes at one of my Japanese shops. Is it difficult to use? Is it very “physical”? I usually grind everything in a small grinder for baby food :-), but the texture is completely different.

    • Hi Sissi! If you like both ingredients, then I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this dish. Plus you like miso and all the other Japanese condiments anyway. I hope you will like it!

      Regarding Suribachi, I’m using small one because it’s pretty convenient. I basically only grind sesame seeds (and I use stone one for grinding cardamom in the morning for my chai). What do you mostly grind? I use wooden stick to grind and it is perfect for grinding sesame seeds to me. :-)

      • Nami, thank you for the answer. I thought of buying suribachi mostly for the spices (whole grains), and of course would like to use it also for other grains and seeds.
        I think I’ll buy it since you grind cardamom seeds too! Thanks for your help! (Frankly, it’s a very beautiful object to have in the kitchen too…).

          • Sissi – Sorry, I meant I have stone suribachi for cardamom, and Japanese suribachi for sesame seeds. I think it’s good investment anyway. Is it expensive there? I hope it’s affordable price.

    • Hi Sawsan! You have never tried Tofu before? Hmm maybe first you try tofu dish, then if you like it, I’m sure you will like this side dish. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

    • Thank you Suzana! Me too, side dishes are sometimes harder to plan than main dish because they have to go well with other food… :-)

  3. Congratulations on ALL your awards! You certainly deserve them. And such a beautiful family…I don’t know how you have time to cook and blog! Always something yummy here…so fun to visit :)

    • Thank you Liz! Well that’s been my biggest challenge – to be honest, I don’t have enough time at all. Now I post 3 days a week and that makes my life a little easier. I need to be more efficient and be able to multi-task! :-)

  4. You can’t beat the taste of fresh green beans. This is a side dish that could go with most anything. Good way to get in more veggie servings,Thank you!!

    • Hi Lindsey! Wow your mom is very creative! I wish I can focus my diet to be healthy like you… For example, I remember you mentioned you would give up chicken thighs and eat chicken breasts instead even though you know thigh would taste better. See, I just can’t do that. I’m too weak in terms of food! 😀

  5. Hi There, Green beans are looking absolutely delightful. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

  6. Nami this is so protein rich that it could be a meal in itself! So easy to make and so tasty, I love it … you know I have always cooked tofu in some way or other … it never occurred to me that I can use it right out of the packet :( how dumb is that!

    • Hi Chris! Yes, we can use tofu without cooking it. I use it for salad too (I have tofu salad recipe here). I hope you enjoy a new way of eating tofu! :-)

  7. Hi Jill! Haha I’m so happy to hear what you told me! I’ve been learning about cooking in general from other people’s blog. It’s very nice to be in this food blog community. I’m glad you find this recipe helpful and that was very nice thing to hear. :-) Thank you~~!

  8. Hi Ananda! I’m so happy you found me. :-) I know it’s sad when a close friend who you shared meal together had to leave. I hope you enjoy my recipes here. Thank you for stopping by! :-)

    • Hi C & MSP! Your way of cooking for French beans sounds very delicious. I never added diced tomatoes, and I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  9. Nami, your shira-ae was perfect with my snow peas! I tasted it and prepared it for the first time in my life, so it was a double huge taste discovery. Thank you so much for the detailed, foolproof instructions and for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  10. Thank you so much, Nami! (I’m on facebook, but not my blog yet!). If you are happy, then I’m 1000 x happier to make you happy and to discover the Japanese dishes thanks to you :-) So thank you for making me happy too! (Last week I also realised two of your other recipes, but the posts are not ready yet… I will keep their names as a surprise for now 😉 All I can say now is they were excellent!)

  11. kyung

    Hallo, Nami!! ^^

    firstly I’d like to say thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
    Yesterday I made this side dish and really enjoyed it.
    my german husband too. ^^

    I’m korean and live in Germany. I always wanted to have chance to learn japanees food, and now I got it. thanks again.

    • Hi kyung! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and giving me feedback! I’m glad you and your husband liked it! It’s simple and refreshing. Thanks again for taking your time to let me know. You made me very happy! :-)

  12. Susan T.

    Hi Nami- I am Sansei, but only know how to cook only a few Japanese dishes. I have learned a lot from you, thank you so much for making your recipes so easy to follow!
    My question is, how far in advance can you make this before eating?
    Thanks again, Susan

    • Hi Susan! I’m so happy to hear you enjoy my recipes. Thank you so much for following! For this recipe, it depends on how well you drain tofu before mixing it, but I recommend you to mix all up before serving or maybe a few hours in advance. Water will continue to come out from tofu, so if you don’t want to dilute the sauce, I recommend to eat soon. Hope this helps! :)