Blanched silverbeet is mixed in a Japanese sesame miso dressing to make a vegetable side that is salty, nutty and so delicious – and even loved by silverbeet sceptics!
With the vegetable patch still full of silverbeet (also known as chard to my American friends), I am making many silverbeet recipes. From this Spanish inspired Spinach with chickpeas, to Greek inspired Silverbeet and Feta pie and Italian silverbeet pie. I love adding flavours from other countries to homegrown vegetables, especially when you are eating them most days – as it makes them seem completely new!
The simple sesame miso dressing is made from a handful of ingredients; salty miso paste adding extra depth to it with its unami flavour.
What is Japanese Sesame Dressing made of?
This Japanese dressing with toasted sesame seeds and miso paste reminds me so much of vegetable dishes we used to eat in Japan. It’s salty, slightly pungent, rich and nutty and the touch of sugar makes all the difference!
It is a really simple sesame miso dressing to make: toast the sesame seeds to release their flavour (optional but definitely recommended), then
- Grind the sesame seeds to a rough paste using a mortar and pestle.
- Add the soy sauce, miso, sugar, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and mix well.
- You should be left with a thick sesame miso paste – the water from the silverbeet with mix with this and thin it just enough to coat the blanched silverbeet.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Silverbeet: Also known as chard. You can also use rainbow chard in this recipe – as you will see from the photos I used rainbow chard in this dish when photographing it!
Soy sauce: You can also use tamari for a gluten free alternative.
Rice vinegar: This is a mellow vinegar, and I use it alot in cooking – especially when wanting to add it to dishes with kids in mind. If you don’t have it, you can sub half the amount of apple cider vinegar mixed with a splash of water.
Miso paste: I use white miso paste in this recipe. It is readily available in Australia, and is the mildest miso paste.
You may be wondering: What is in white miso paste? It’s a mixture of soybeans with koji, a mould. White miso is aged for a shorter period of time than red or brown miso paste and is slightly sweeter and less pungent than other miso pastes. If you are looking for extra recipes for miso paste, then have a look at this fresh and light peanut miso soup.
Tips for making the best silverbeet with Japanese miso dressing:
Toast the sesame seeds: This enhances their nutty flavour, which makes the sesame miso dressing even more flavourful, all ready for the silverbeet to soak up all that flavour! Be careful not to burn them though, as they can burn easily!
Don’t overcook the silverbeet/swiss chard/rainbow chard: This will make it lose it’s lovely green colour (pink and yellow too if you’re using rainbow chard!)
Japanese silverbeet with sesame miso dressing
- 400g | 14oz silverbeet
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Make the Japanese sesame dressing:
- Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium – high heat until light golden and toasted, around 2-3 minutes.
- Cool slightly then tip into a mortar and pestle and grind to a very rough paste (see image in above post for the consistency)
- Add the soy sauce, miso paste, sugar, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and mix well.
- Place the dressing in a large mixing bowl.
Blanch the silverbeet/chard:
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Before you put the silverbeet in the water, make sure you have a large heatproof bowl full of ice cold water.
- Cut the stems off from the leaves and cut the stems into 3-4 cm 1.2" – 1.6" long pieces.
- Place the the stems in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the leaves (no need to cut unless they are very big – just cut them in half if need to.)
- Cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Lift the silverbeet out with a slotted spoon and place into the iced water straight away to stop it from cooking.
- Leave in the ice water for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the cool silverbeet with a slotted spoon to the miso sesame dressing.
- Mix to coat the silverbeet in the dressing. There should be enough water from the chard to thin the sauce ever so slightly, but if it seems too dry, then add a teaspoon of water at a time.
- Best when kept in the fridge for ½-2 hours before serving, but you can also eat it straight away!