How to prepare other ingredients
Green beans - removing stems
Rather that removing one stem at a time, it is much faster to lay the beans with stems facing in the same direction and then cut these off at once.
Green beans - draining
After boiling, transfer the green beans to an all-purpose strainer or colander to cool. This process is called "okaage" in Japanese. Placing the green beans in water to cool will cause them to become soggy. This method is recommended for snow peas, broccoli and green asparagus as well.