It all started when I basically made my own tahini with freshly roasted sesame seeds to go with sauteed spinach for Terry’s oshitashi recipe (Sesame Wow Greens). So good, yet so simple.
Then, I discovered tahini heaven. I had heard that tahini could taste so good that one could eat it straight from the jar. Not so with my previous brand. But now I am a tahini-convert after spreading my way through Prince’s tahini: smooth, rich and creamy with a deep sesame flavour. I love it! I want to eat it with everything! I honestly wonder if I should try out Deb’s Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad again (I found it too bitter the first time) because my tahini was probably at fault.
This time, I went heavy with the tahini. I spotted this recipe in The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East (recipe here) and thought 1/3 cup of tahini would be great simmered with tempeh and green beans. I liked it but it wasn’t as sesame heavy as I was anticipating. The dressing, of course, also had lemon juice, broth, tamari and mirin, creating a more complex flavour palate. Nice and light, and quite soupy, too, and easy to put together. The tempeh was a bit more meaty and juicy because I pre-steamed it, dry-fried it to lock in the shape and then simmered in the sesame broth. The green beans were a perfect match. Serve with quinoa so that you can savour this down to the last drop of sauce.
Barring hummus, what is your favourite way to use tahini?
Here are some other tahini recipes I’ve had my eye on:
Miso Tahini Magic Sauce from Fresh Young Coconut
Smoky Red Pepper, Chickpea and Tahini Dressing from Choosing Raw
Miso Sesame Dressing from Choosing Raw
Low-Fat Tahini-Chickpea Dressing from Fat Free Vegan
Orange-Miso-Tahini Gravy from My New Roots
Carrot Ginger Tahini Soup from Kahakai Kitchen
Beet, Tahini and Pomegranate Dip (Mama Dall’ou’ah) from Taste of Beirut
Roasted Carrot Hummus from Enlightened Cooking
Tofu Tahini Scramble from Choosing Raw
Burnt Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegrante from Ottolenghi
Noodles with a Lemon-Miso-Tahini Sauce from ExtraVeganZa
Tangy Tahini Noodles with Tempeh and Vegetables from Julia’s Vegan Kitchen
Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles from Vegan Yum Yum
Creamy Kale Soup with Tahini from Vegan Yum Yum
Quinoa Pilaf with Spiced Miso Tahini Sauce from Sweet Potato Soul
Spinach, Chickpea and Tahini Soup from Soup Chick
Braised Tempeh with Green Beans in a Sesame Sauce
8 ounces tempeh
2 1/4 cups water, divided
2 tbsp tamari, divided
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed off
1/3 cup tahini
3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/4 cup sliced green onion
Sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Begin by steaming your tempeh: Place the tempeh in a microwave-safe dish with half a cup of water. Cover it with a lid and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes. Drain any excess water. Slice the tempeh into 4-8 cutlets.
2. While the tempeh is steaming, prepare your marinade: place 1/4 cup of water, 1 Tbsp of tamari, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and the mirin in a shallow dish and whisk well. Add the tempeh, mix well with the marinade and allow to sit for 5 minutes, flipping occasionally.
3. Place the sesame oil in a large sauté pan (I used a large wok) over medium high heat. Add the tempeh and the contents of the shallow dish, and cook for 5 minutes, gently turning with a spatula to flip occasionally. Add the green beans and 1 cup of water, and cook until almost all of the water is dissolved and the green beans are a vibrant green, approximately 7 minutes, gently stirring frequently.
4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp tamari, and 2 tbsp lemon juice and gently stir well. Add the tahini, stir well and cook for 5 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Add a little more water if necessary and adjust the salt to taste.
5. Garnish with the green onion and sesame seeds before serving. Serve with quinoa (or your favourite grain) to sop up all the extra sauce!