These Japanese-inspired miso green beans are bursting with umami flavor and are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!Jump to Recipe
If you’re looking for a not-so-traditional green bean recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve got you covered. These Japanese-Inspired Miso Green Beans are absolutely bursting with umami and are a fun alternative to the standard casserole.
Ingredients for Japanese-Inspired Miso Green Beans
Green Beans: Washed and trimmed!
Toasted Sesame Oil: For some rich nutty flavor. The flavor profile of toasted sesame oil is pretty unique, so I would not recommend substituting if avoidable.
Miso: This ingredient is super common in Japanese cuisine and is especially good for adding umami to any dish. See this guide for the scoop on all the different kinds of miso, the health benefits, and its fabulous flavor profile! I used red miso in this recipe, but white will work too if you’re wanting something more mellow. Make sure you use gluten-free if needed!
Soy Sauce or Tamari: Another Japanese culinary staple! Make sure you use Tamari to keep things gluten-free.
Garlic: Ah, the universally adored allium.
Red Pepper Flakes: For a bit of a spicy kick! Feel free to omit if you don’t like that kind of thing.
Sea Salt: Duh.
Mirin: This Japanese rice wine lends a gentle sweetness and, you guessed it, umami. You will use just a small splash at the end of cooking as the final touch.
What Is Umami Anyway?
So I’ve mentioned about 3000 times so far that this recipe is rich in umami. What does that even mean? It’s one of the five tastes that humans experience (the others being sweet, salty, sour, and bitter). Umami can be defined as an indescribably satisfying savoriness. To be technical, umami actually comes from an amino acid called glutamate. Glutamate is found in all kinds of ingredients, particularly in several of the ingredients in these green beans. Sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, and mirin are all known for their umami flavor profile, which makes this dish immensely satisfying. If you’re wanting to dive even more into the world of umami, take a quick look at this breakdown.
If you make these Japanese-Inspired Miso Green Beans, be sure to leave a rating and review! This encourages others to give the recipe a try. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram. I always love hearing from you!
More Thanksgiving Sides
- Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
- Amazing Cinnamon Pumpkin Cornbread
- Roasted Squash Apple Salad with Tahini Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Japanese-Inspired Miso Green Beans
- 1 lb fresh green beans trimmed
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil divided
- 2 tsp miso red or white
- 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp mirin
- Use clean hands to massage 1 tbsp sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt into the green beans until all ingredients are well-distributed.
- Heat another tbsp sesame oil over medium heat and add green beans. Sauté for 20-25 minutes, or until green beans have softened and are slightly charred. Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp mirin. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Photography by Hope Agresti