Go Back
+ servings
5 from 3 votes
Hero shot of Green Beans with Tofu Dressing.
Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shira-ae)
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Green Beans with Tofu Dressing (Shira-ae) is a simple vegetarian side dish. The tofu-based dressing has a very gentle flavour and goes well with blanched green beans with some carrot to give a bright colour to the dish.

Note: Prep time includes the time to extract water out of the tofu. Actual working time is much less.

Recipe Type: Salad, Sides
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: dressing, tofu, vegetarian
Serves: 4 as side, 2 as salad
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 50g/1.8oz carrot
  • 120g/4.2oz green beans
  • 2 pinches of salt
Tofu Dressing
  • tbsp (12g) roasted white sesame seeds
  • 200g/0.4lb firm/momen tofu (note 1)
  • 1 tbsp + ½ tsp sugar
  • tsp miso
  • tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Wrap the tofu in a couple of sheets of kitchen papers and place it on a cutting board. Place a plate on the top as a weight and leave it for 20-30 minutes.

  2. In the meantime, cut the carrot into 4-5cm long thin matchsticks. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the carrot sticks and leave for 10 minutes. Squeeze them to get moisture out.
  3. Boil water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and blanch green beans for a minute or two. Transfer the beans to a bowl of cold water to cool them down quickly.

  4. Trim both ends off the beans and cut each bean diagonally into 5cm long pieces.

  5. Grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle until most seeds are ground.

  6. Remove the kitchen paper from the tofu, and place the tofu into the mortar, breaking it into small pieces (note 2).

  7. Pound the tofu using a pestle until the tofu becomes smooth without large chunks of tofu pieces. The consistency is like loose yoghurt.

  8. Add the remaining Tofu Dressing ingredients to the mortar and mix well.
  9. Add the beans and the carrots to the tofu dressing and mix well.
  10. Serve in 4 small individual bowls as a side or in 1-2 plates/bowls as a salad.

Recipe Notes

1. It is best to use firm tofu (momen tofu) to make a tofu dressing. If you can only find silken tofu, you will need to extract the water much more by wrapping the tofu in kitchen paper and squeezing the water out.

Hard tofu is not suited to this dish.

2. Prior to placing the tofu into the mortar, you can put the tofu through a sieve if you want so that the time taken to make a smooth tofu mixture is reduced.

3. Nutrition per serving as a side.

serving: 108g calories: 115kcal fat: 6.3g (10%) saturated fat: 1g (5%) trans fat: 0g polyunsaturated fat: 2.9g monounsaturated fat: 2g cholesterol: 0mg (0%) sodium: 365mg (15%) potassium: 215mg (6%) carbohydrates: 10g (3%) dietary fibre: 2.8g (11%) sugar: 5.7g protein: 7.3g vitamin a: 46% vitamin c: 7.3% calcium: 18% iron: 14%