Japan Eats

Recipe: Snow pea salad with black sesame dressing

Snow peas coated in a tangy, spicy dressing

Here’s another dish that compliments the warmer weather. The peas provide the texture, while the dressing gives the dish it’s flavor.

To prepare the dressing, use a suribachi (Japanese mortar) to grind the sesame seeds. It’s also possible to do this in a food processor – just be sure not to overdo it. Ideally, you want to keep some of that rough texture.

If you feel the dressing is too strong, add another 100 g of snow peas (or until there’s a good balance between the flavor of the peas and the dressing).

You can also use snap peas, which are thicker and rounder than snow peas but have much the same flavor.

Finally, the type of vinegar used for the dressing will determine how much sugar to add. Here, I chose grain vinegar and mixed in 1 tablespoon of sugar. If, however, you use rice vinegar you’ll need to reduce the amount of sugar. Start with half a tablespoon and little by little add more until you’re happy with the taste.

Snow peas with black sesame sauce

Snow peas with black sesame sauce

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300 g of snow peas
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger (roughly 30 g)
  • 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds (half glazed)
  • 3 tablespoons of grain vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of doubanjiang (Chinese chilli bean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil

Method

Raw snow peas

Raw snow peas

Place a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds on a low heat. Warm the seeds until they give off an aroma.

Now, grind the black sesame seeds in a suribachi or mortar.

Having done this, string the snow peas and wash them in a bowl of cold water.

Place the peas in a pot containing 1.5 – 2 liters of cold water on high heat and add 2 – 3 pinches of salt when it comes to the boil.

Boil the snow peas for 1.5 minutes. Spread them on a basket and allow them to cool until they reach room temperature.

Mix the ingredients of the dressing and then add the snow peas. Mix roughly, coat the snow peas evenly with the dressing and serve.

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