1/2 pound green beans, root end removed
1 ounce deep-fried tofu pouch (abura-age) optional
1/2 cup (or more) shelled edamame, cooked
toasted sesame seeds
White Sesame Sauce:
1/2 cup toasted tahini or 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sweetener
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake (rice vinegar can be substituted)
1. For the sesame sauce: If making from seeds, in a small frying pan over low heat, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Pulse in a food processor to your desired consistency. Transfer the paste or tahini to a bowl and add the sweetener, soy sauce, and sake or vinegar. Mix, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula. Adjust the consistency with water.
2. Green Beans: Cut into 2 inch pieces. Have ice water ready in a medium bowl. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the beans until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer the beans to the ice bath with a slotted to shock them, then drain.
3. Cut the deep-fried tofu into strips (if you are using it). Have boiling water ready in a small pot. To remove excess oil from the tofu, put strips in a sieve and pour boiling water over them, then drain and press in paper towel to dry.
4. Lightly press out any excess liquid from beans and tofu strips, put them in a large bowl along with the edamame beans and mix with the sesame sauce. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.