Sesame seeds are one of Japan’s most fundamental ingredients. Toasted sesame seeds are widely available, but I recommend lightly re-toasting them to boost the aroma and flavour – it will make a significant difference to the dish.
Gently toast the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over low heat, shaking the pan from time to time to prevent burning. As soon as you hear the sesame seeds popping, take the pan off the heat and leave them to cool down.
Transfer the sesame seeds to a suribachi or mortar and coarsely grind them. Add the brown sugar and soy sauce and mix until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the salt and blanch the beans for 3 minutes.
Drain the beans, rinse them under cold running water and, when completely cooled, pat dry with paper towel.
Just before serving, mix the beans with the sesame dressing.
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