Monday, September 21, 2009

Fresh Edamame

When sushi became mainstream and more people got exposed to Japanese food, edamame (soy beans) became the new chips and salsa at many restaurants. My mom and dad decided to grow soy beans for the past two years in their backyard, and just about the only thing that makes me happy at the end of summer (besides the start of Husky football season—especially when we upset the #3 team in the nation!) is picking the beans and boiling them up for an absolutely delicious and healthy appetizer. You can find edamame in the freezer aisle of most grocery stores, but there is nothing like a fresh batch picked from the garden! They are sweeter and need less salt to get that juicy, nutty flavor people love. It takes all summer and several plants to produce a crop worth the time/effort, but the results are divine.

Here are some tips for getting the best flavor out of edamame, even if you have to have the frozen kind!
1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, do not salt the water. Unlike pasta, you do not want to start with salted water, this can make the beans harden and not get as plump as you want them.

2. Once boiling, throw in your beans and stir. You know the beans are done when one of the pods pops out a bean.

3. When the beans are cooked (about 3-5 minutes), toss in plenty of coarse salt to the boiling water so the water is well flavored. It will also infuse the beans with flavor.

4. Drain the beans and then quickly transfer the colander with beans back over the pot you boiled the beans in. Save the little bit of water that drips from the beans while you let them cool for about a minute.

5. Transfer beans to a bowl and sprinkle a couple of pinches of kosher or rock salt over the beans, toss, then add a couple more pinches over the top. Pour the bean water from step #4 over the top. Enjoy with a beer or green tea!

1 comment: