Sesame-Glazed Green Beans

 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup water
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne strips
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds 

1. Put the green beans and water into a saucepan, and bring the water to a boil.  Simmer the beans, uncovered, until they are almost tender and there is just a bit of water left, then stir in the red pepper strips.  Simmer a little longer, until the beans are tender and all the water has evaporated.  Take the pan off the heat.

2. While the beans cook, combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, dry mustard, and honey in a small bowl.  Put the green beans back over medium-high heat, and add the soy sauce mixture.  Toss until the vegetables are well coated, letting the sauce boil and thicken a bit.

3. Take the pan off the heat.  Drizzle in the sesame oil, and sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds, if you are using them.  Serve the beans immediately.

 Variation:  For a kick, add 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes to the soy mixture.

– from Vegetarian Planet, by Didi Emmons

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