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Thanksgiving Recipes: Green Beans With An Unexpected Twist

Nov 08, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipes: Green Beans With An Unexpected Twist

Side dishes are almost as important as the bird on Thanksgiving. Green beans are a versatile choice--from casseroles to sautéed with shallots, they round out our veggie options nicely.

For those with a passion for Japanese cuisine, this healthy, simple recipe from New York restaurateur Reika Alexander, owner of EN Japanese Brasserie, is the perfect respite from the calorie-bombs that star in your Thanksgiving spread.

“Shira-ae is a very traditional tofu dish to enjoy with vegetables in Japan. This green bean recipe is common, but the vegetable is not the exclusive option,” says Reika. “Many times you can see shira-ae made with spinach, and if I'm feeling adventurous I'll use western vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli.”

(This delicious recipe isn't reserved for the holidays. It would make an amazing weeknight dinner, too.)

String Bean Shira-ae
Servings: 2
Time: 15 min

1 lb. string beans
1 pack firm tofu

(For Sauce)

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
Pinch of salt

Remove tofu from package, drain off water and wrap in paper towels to remove excess water.

Heat a pot of water to boil. Fill a bowl with ice and water. Place the string beans in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Remove string beans and place in the bowl of ice water to cool.

Toast sesame seeds in a pan on medium low until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Place sesame seeds in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to pulverize. Mix together the sesame seeds, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce and salt. Add the tofu and mix well. Dry the green beans and chop to 1-inch lengths then mix them into the sauce.

Want more vegetarian options this Turkey Day? Check out our slideshow above—tofurky need not apply. 

By Gaia Guidi Filippi

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