Try Japanese-style Tenderstem ® with Sweet Toasted Sesame Sauce for a quick and easy side dish. It’s a nutritious and delicious accompaniment to any Far East Asian meal, grilled fish or chicken. Or add in baked tofu pieces or cooked seafood for a simple supper.
This post is in collaboration with Tenderstem®.
NEED AN EASY, CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH SIDE DISH?
HERE YOU GO!
Many of you will already be familiar with leggy, deep green Tenderstem®. But did you know that this elegant vegetable is a Japanese reinvention of broccoli? Using classical plant breeding techniques traditional, large-head calabrese and Chinese kale were brought together to make a sweeter, more nutritious, “no-waste” plant.
For those of you who have never tried Tenderstem® it has a mild but distinctive taste, and a texture more like asparagus than broccoli. We love it!
Over the past few years, I have pretty much switched over from calabrese to Tenderstem® because of not only its taste but its ease of preparation. You literally rinse it and get on with the cooking. Or indeed, it is so sweet and tender I nibble it raw – lovely dipped in hummus or tapenade. No dividing up florets, chopping off or peeling the stem. Just steam, griddle, roast, stir-fry or boil: all in under a few minutes.As you would expect, I’ve experimented with how versatile it is, both in main dishes and in side dishes. So, when I was approached by the brand to come up with a few delicious and exciting side dishes I knew exactly what I would first create, this ridiculously easy Tenderstem® with Sweet Toasted Sesame Sauce.
This sweet and savoury side dish is inspired by my recent trip to Japan. I was lucky enough to attend a couple of cooking classes, and at one of them we made a very similar dish, but with green beans. While eating it I actually said aloud that I thought this would be perfect made with Tenderstem®. I didn’t even use the “b” word. ;-) Although our group had made a fantastic, richly-flavoured ramen from homemade stock, as well as juicy pork and chive gyozoas, all of us thought this simple side dish was the star. And it took about five minutes to make. Which is a huge bonus if you love food as much as I do!
So, you can see why I want to share it with you.
Some tips for using Tenderstem®
Don’t chop. It has been carefully bred to not need any chopping. The stem is incredibly tender and sweet, and meant to be eaten.
Cook briefly. For side dishes, the merest cooking is enough.
Boiling: 3-4 minutes; Steaming: 2 minutes; Stir-frying: 2 minutes, stirring; Griddling: 2 minutes, turning until lightly charred; Roasting: 8-10 minutes at 180C.
Tenderstem® loves classic flavours as well as bold. Pour over a yummy lemon-butter sauce, shower with crumbles of blue cheese, douse in a herby vinaigrette, stud with stir-fried chilli, ginger and garlic. It can take whatever you can!
Here are more ideas for eating your Tenderstem®, as well as some of my own:
Tenderstem® with Sweet Toasted Sesame Sauce
Try Japanese-style Tenderstem ® with Sweet Toasted Sesame Sauce for a quick and easy side dish. It’s a nutritious and delicious accompaniment to any Far East Asian meal, grilled fish or chicken. Or add in baked tofu pieces or cooked seafood for a simple supper. xx
300g (12 oz) Tenderstem® (more or less)
45g (6 tbsp) lightly toasted white sesame seeds + 1 teaspoon
2 tbsp brown sugar (light or dark)
1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce or tamari sauce (I use reduced sodium)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil or warm water, to loosen the sauce
Salt, to taste
Crunchy fried onion or shallot pieces, optional
Steam the whole spears of Tenderstem® for three minutes.
While the Tenderstem® is steaming, use a pestle and mortar to grind the 45g of toasted sesame seeds to a rough paste; add the sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil or water and grind to a nearly smooth sauce (you want some texture). Add a little more sesame oil or water if necessary. Taste, and adjust with salt or sugar if you wish.
Add the steamed Tenderstem® to a warmed serving bowl and carefully toss through the sauce. Sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds and crunchy onions. Serve warm.
RIPE FOR PINNING!
Thank you to Tenderstem® for sponsoring this post. Partnered posts such as this help me to keep bringing you my recipes and content – for free. Thanks to you as well, for supporting not only Food To Glow but also the quality brands with which I work. I only partner with brands I actually use and like. All opinions are strictly my own.