Braised potatoes and green beans 小芋とインゲンの煮物

japanese cake

This is a very homey and simple dish. My mother used to make it often. I made this one evening since my wife washed and dried green beans but did not have a time to make the dish she had in mind and was in the process of putting them away in the refrigerator. I just grabbed a handful of green beans and made this dish.

One of the problems I have is that I do not measure anything especially for this kind of dish The amount of ingredients and seasoning is just a guesstimate. The above picture is the entire amount I made; about 20 green beans and 6-7 baby red potatoes.

I removed the “eyes” of the potatoes and cut them in half or quarters depending on their size. In a large frying pan on a medium flame, I added 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil and a splash of dark roasted sesame oil. When the oil was shimmering, I added the green beans (please make sure they are dry, otherwise it splatters) and the potatoes and sautéed briefly so that all the vegetables are coated with oil. I added 2-3 tbs of mirin and tossed it around. After 1 minute or so I added chicken broth (3-4 tbs, non-fat and reduced sodium Swanson as usual but you can use dashi, sake, or water). I put on a tight fitting lid and turned down the flame to a low simmer.  I let it cook for 10 minutes or so and added 1 tbs of soy sauce. I put back the lid and simmered it for another 5-7 minutes. I opened the lid and checked the potatoes to see it they were done (insert a skewer or knife tip). If the potatoes are not done and not much liquid is left, add more water or chicken broth. (In my case, the potatoes were done). The liquid should be reduced quite a bit at this point (Picture below). I added a half tbs more soy sauce (to give a fresh soy sauce flavor) and tossed it around and let the liquid evaporate almost completely (another 1 to 2 minutes).

This is a somehow very comforting dish for me since it was one of my mother’s repertoire. Classic Japanese seasoning but the fresh taste of green beans comes through. Perfect side for any Japanese meal or you could have it by itself with sake like we did.

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