Japanese Cooking: Healthy Green Bean 白和え Shiraae


The first time I tried a green bean shiraae, was at Nakajima Suisan where we had some of the best grilled fish in Singapore.

Shira-ae or shiraae, a classic tofu paste that was born from the Zen Buddhist vegetarian cuisine called shojin ryouri. Over the years, I’ve felt a certain affinity with Buddhist teachings and traditions, so the simplicity and wholesome nature of this dish particularly appealed to me.

This dish is super tasty, but very light on the palate. And I loved that crumbly texture which I found out was actually dehydrated beancurd. So I tried to make this on my own at home, and boy was it really quick to prepare!



  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1/4 cup firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp miso (white)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

First, boil green beans in a saucepan until tender.


Meanwhile, leave the tofu on a plate for 15 minutes to allow it to dehydrate slightly.

Then, crumble with your fingers until you get this texture.


Grind sesame seeds. And add miso, sugar and soy sauce to sesame seeds and mix.


Combine with beancurd.


And finally, when the beans are ready, just mix it into the seasoning and serve either cold or at room temperature.


This is a wonderful accompaniment to grilled fish, meat or rice bowls. In our case, we had it with a scrumptious Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg Rice Bowl). This also keeps and can be served cold. So it also makes a great snack or appetiser for any meal. Try it and do share your other Japanese side dish recipes with me! I’m always game to try something new and delicious.




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