My Japanese Table, A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family by Debra Samuels includes recipes like String Beans with Crunchy Toasted Peanuts Ingen no Peanutsu Ae; Simmered Daikon with Citrus Miso Sauce; Eriko's Onion, Clam, and Potato Fritters Kakiage; and Elementary School Sampler Bento.
Ingen no Peanutsu Ae
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Any boiled green vegetable with this nutty dressing becomes something special. Regardless of the variety, toasting a nut before grinding brings out its flavor. If I don't feel like getting out my mini food processor, I place the warm peanuts on a cutting board, place a paper towel over them and, with a rolling pin, lightly smash them before rolling the pin back and forth over the covered nuts to give them a crumbly, but crunchy texture. This dish is served at room temperature, so it can be made ahead of time. When served as part of a Japanese meal, it is placed in individual bowls. I serve them in this rustic dish made by our friend Noriyasu Tsuchiya, a potter from Shizuoka. You can see that the salad is mounded in the center, but doesn't fill the entire bowl. The circular patterned design and subtle purples and browns of the glaze are all visible. Admiring the vessel is as much a part of the meal as tasting the food.
1. Wash and trim the beans. Fill a medium saucepan half way with water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Add the beans and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes until the beans are cooked through but remain crisp.
3. Fill a large mixing bowl half way with water and 1 cup of ice. Set a colander in the sink and drain the beans. Plunge the beans into the ice water and stir with your hands until the beans are cool to the touch. Drain the beans in the colander and set aside.
4. Add the peanuts to a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Or finely chop the nuts on a cutting board.
5. Add the Dashi (Fish Stock), sugar, and soy sauce and mix thoroughly into a thick paste.
6. Toss the dressing with the beans. Top with bonito flakes if using.
This page created October 2011
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