Easy Japanese Recipes

Green Bean Shiraae いんげんの白和え

Green Bean Shiraae | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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.


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Appetizers, Healthy Recipes, Quick & Easy, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Tofu & Eggs, Vegetarian

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  • kat May 11, 2011, 1:10 am

    what a coincidence! I made a green bean dish too, goma-ae style!

    • Nami May 11, 2011, 1:25 am

      Hehehee this dish definitely appears on my table often. My mom did the same, too…. no wonder? ;-)

  • Gourmantine May 11, 2011, 1:14 am

    I’ve just bought a pack of green beans a while ago and was wondering what to do with them, this is it! :)

    • Nami May 11, 2011, 1:26 am

      Gourmantine, you like veggies so you will enjoy this simple taste. :-) Enjoy!

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover May 11, 2011, 2:00 am

    this side dish look so refreshing and good.

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 9:18 pm

      Thank you Sonia! :-)

  • Adora's Box May 11, 2011, 2:57 am

    This is a good one for me to try. I usually cook my veg simply stir fried ( with garlic and light soy ) and it can get pretty boring.

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) May 11, 2011, 4:25 am

    This is definitely my kind of dish! I’d just replace the tofu with eggs, I think (still working my way up the tofu, and there’s no true love yet, but I’ll just go on trying). :)

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 9:32 pm

      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!

  • Three-Cookies May 11, 2011, 4:29 am

    I’ve tried beans cooked chinese style with lots of garlic while the Japanese version substitutes garlic with tofu, interesting.

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 9:35 pm

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

  • elle marie Yamamoto May 11, 2011, 4:58 am

    Nom nom Nami!!! This reminds me of okara!!! Which I love.

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 9:37 pm

      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!

  • daphne May 11, 2011, 6:36 am

    I made a version of it once just with miso paste and sesame. I love the addition of soy and the grinding together bit. Good tip!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 9:48 pm

      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!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking May 11, 2011, 10:32 am

    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!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 9:51 pm

      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.

  • Sissi May 11, 2011, 11:00 am

    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.

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:00 pm

      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. :-)

      • Sissi May 13, 2011, 1:06 am

        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 May 13, 2011, 1:07 am

          Sorry, I meant: “(…) and of course would like to use it also for other grains and seeds apart from sesame seeds”

          • Nami May 13, 2011, 1:15 am

            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.

  • Sawsan@chef in disguise May 11, 2011, 11:10 am

    I’m always looking for new recipes to give vegetables a new twist..this looks yummy..but I have never tried tofo before..will have to look some up

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:19 pm

      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! :-)

  • Firefly May 11, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Yummy! I love your side dish recipes :) and I’m always looking for more green bean recipes! Thanks for sharing :D

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:22 pm

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

  • Terris-Free Eats Food May 11, 2011, 3:26 pm

    This looks like a wonderful and tasty new way to prepare green beans. I love learning about Japanese cuisine too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:24 pm

      Thank you Terris! It’s very easy to prepare as well. :-)

  • Liz May 11, 2011, 5:44 pm

    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 :)

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:29 pm

      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! :-)

  • Biren @ Roti n Rice May 11, 2011, 6:27 pm

    This sounds really delicious! I like anything with tofu and goma in it. :)

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:30 pm

      Thank you Biren! I sometimes wonder if you are actually a Japanese person because you know a lot of Japanese words! ;-)

  • Sandra May 11, 2011, 6:51 pm

    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!!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:32 pm

      Thanks Sandra! Yes, more veggie servings! It’s important veggies taste good so everyone will eat healthy. :-)

  • tigerfish May 11, 2011, 8:27 pm

    Thanks. I learn something new today – Shiraae as a way of cooking. Very insightful.

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:33 pm

      Hi tigerfish! Yes, the main ingredient can be anything such as spinach (another common ingredient). :-)

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious May 11, 2011, 9:53 pm

    This looks yummy, my mom used to make something similar but instead of tofu she uses egg. (Miso-soy sauce egg mix). This fits in great with my healthy eating/diet I need to make this soon!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:39 pm

      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! :-D

  • sonia May 12, 2011, 6:34 am

    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 !!!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:40 pm

      Hi Sonia! Thanks for giving it a try. I hope you will like it. :-)

  • Chris's Gourmet Fashion May 12, 2011, 1:26 pm

    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!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:54 pm

      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! :-)

  • Happy When Not Hungry May 12, 2011, 6:57 pm

    These green beans look amazing! I love the flavors. What a great side dish!

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:56 pm

      Thank you Kara! :-)

  • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:20 pm

    Thanks Maria! I hope you will like it!

  • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:44 pm

    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~~!

  • Nami May 12, 2011, 10:51 pm

    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! :-)

  • chopinandmysaucepan May 13, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I love French beans and my usual dressing is with a simple diced tomato, lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper. This looks like an interesting alternative.

    • Nami May 15, 2011, 8:48 pm

      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. :-)

  • Sissi May 25, 2011, 1:20 am

    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!

    • Nami May 25, 2011, 1:24 am

      Sissi, not sure if you have facebook but here I shared your link on my page: https://www.facebook.com/justonecookbook

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed it. That’s the greatest reward by doing food blog! Thank you for making me very very happy! :-)

  • Sissi May 25, 2011, 3:46 am

    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!)

    • Nami June 8, 2011, 11:53 pm

      Oh my gosh, sorry Sissi. I don’t know why but I didn’t get to read this comment until now!!! Arrhh so sorry!

  • Jamie @ Wokintime June 8, 2011, 11:13 pm

    Hey Nami! I made your green bean shiraae today and it was so easy and delicious! And so healthy too! Even my son loved it :) This will become a regular in our house for sure.

    • Nami June 8, 2011, 11:55 pm

      Jamie! You made me really happy! Thanks! It’s easy and I hope the portion of each ingredients was okay. :-)

  • kyung July 13, 2011, 5:34 am

    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.

    • Nami July 13, 2011, 9:05 pm

      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! :-)

  • Christina April 10, 2014, 10:52 am

    I was just thinking that I’m sick of sauteing green beans with garlic, so this will be a new recipe to try!

  • Susan T. July 21, 2014, 2:49 pm

    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

    • Nami July 21, 2014, 3:10 pm

      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! :)

      • Susan T. July 21, 2014, 3:55 pm

        That is so true of tofu, it always seems to have an endless supply of water in them no matter how much you blot or drain them, lol! Thanks so much for your quick response! Susan

        • Nami July 21, 2014, 3:59 pm

          You’re welcome! :)