Simple Sesame Seed Green Beans

Simple Sesame String Beans

This 5 ingredient dish (4 ingredients if you want to make it vegan!) is a good one to have in the repertoire. Fast, tasty and flexible as both fresh and frozen green beans work well! It’s great to keep a bag of green beans in the freezer for those vegetable emergencies!


  • ½ lbs Green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • ~2 Tbs Soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • ¼ Tsp Katsuo dashi or bonito (fish) soup stock in powder form (optional)
  • ~1 Tbs Toasted sesame seed, freshly ground (Sesame seeds can be purchased toasted/roasted.)


  • 3 quart pot
  • Bowl and Colander to rinse the green beans
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Measuring spoons and measuring glass is helpful
  • Cooking chopsticks
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Sesame seed grinder 
  • Or a Ziploc bag and rolling pin can be used in place of a grinder
  • Serving dish


Prepare the Green Beans

Rinse and trim the ends of the green beans (if using fresh) either by hand or by knife. Shorten the beans into approximately 2 inch pieces by breaking or cutting in half. Prepare a 3 quart pot of salted water and bring to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook until desired doneness. (About 2-5 minutes) Monitor the beans by trying one, making sure to run it under cold water before eating! Aim for a bit al dente without being tough or chewy. (Frozen will always have a softer texture.) When you are happy with the doneness, drain the beans in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the beans continue to drain while making the dressing.

Prepare the dressing

Mix the soy or tamari sauce together with the sugar and katsuo or bonito dashi (if using). The dashi does add depth to the flavor but can be left off to make the dish vegan. It will still be very tasty! Continue to stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Combine the ingredients

In a small bowl, mix the drained green beans with the dressing. Now add the toasted sesame seeds that are freshly ground and mix again.

***Grinding sesame seeds can be done in a number of ways. There are handheld sesame seed grinders, a suribachi (Japanese grinding bowl) and surikogi (Japanese wood pestle) or placing the sesame seeds in a Ziploc bag and rolling over with a rolling pin will work too! (Be sure to press out all the air from the Ziploc and seal securely before rolling!)

Taste and make any adjustments

Be sure to taste and make any final adjustments. Sometimes just a dash of salt is a good place to start before adding any of the other ingredients.

And if not eating immediately…

Store the green beans and dressing separately in the refrigerator if not eating immediately. When ready to serve, mix the green beans and the dressing with the ground sesame seeds!


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Author: mpao

Hi there! My name is Marsha Kumi Pao, and I’m a home cook from the Pacific Northwest. Through my videos and blog, I hope to bring you easy, accessible, and tasty recipes that embody my upbringing as a Japanese-American. These recipes are ones that I’ve grown up on and adopted—merging the tastes of my family’s intergenerational and intercultural cuisine

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