Sometimes in a Japanese restaurant, you’ll be given a little dish immediately you sit down to whet the appetite – this is typical of one of those dishes. For a side dish you want about a handful of beansprounts per person. As an appetiser, this will do two portions.
For each handful of beansprouts you need: 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, a scant teaspoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of shichimi togarashi (Japanese pepper and spice) and a pinch of salt. To finish you’ll need a heaped teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Cook the beansprouts in boiling water, or better, vegetable dashi stock, for about two minutes. Plunge into cold water briefly and drain immediately. They should still be a little warm, but not still cooking. Dress with all the other ingredients and allow to cool to room temperature. I usually put them in a sealed plastic box, and turn the box over and shake a few times to ensure they’re all evenly coated.