Friday, April 18, 2014
By Rick Nelson / McClatchy Newspapers
Another week, another auto-pilot stroll through the frozen vegetables section of the supermarket. Green beans, yawn. Peas and carrots, no thank you. Broccoli? Insert eye roll.
Edamame may be best known as a salty bar snack, but they stand in nicely for peas and fava beans in a variety of dishes.
Here's a suggestion: Edamame.
The gently fuzzed, whole-pod versions of young soybeans are widely known as steamed-and-salted bar snacks. But their pea-like seeds – which bear a slight resemblance to lima beans and manage to hold much of their buttery texture, delicately sweet flavor and Granny Smith apple color when frozen – make for a delicious and colorful addition to routine cooking.
Better still, leaving someone else to do the shelling makes them as convenient – and as versatile – as any other more familiar frozen vegetable, just slightly more exotic. And flexible they are, standing in for peas and fava beans in salads, succotashes, pastas and other dishes.
Another bonus: They're high in protein, fiber and B vitamins.
Then there's the name. Edamame (pronounced eh-dah-MAH-meh) means "branched bean" in Japanese, and it's a much sexier way of saying "green soybean" or "Asian pea," right?
And, surprisingly, shelled edamame are widely available.
ORANGE-EDAMAME-TOFU STIR FRY
Note: From "The Woman's Day Everyday Cookbook," by the editors of Woman's Day.
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 (14-oz.) package extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
2 teaspoon freshly minced peeled ginger root
1 bunch asparagus, cut into pieces
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded and sliced
1 cup (about 5 oz.) frozen shelled edamame
1 (3½-oz.) package sliced shiitake mushrooms
½ cup sliced green onions
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional
In a small bowl, mix together ¾ cup water, orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, cornstarch and crushed red pepper, and reserve.
Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook 5 minutes, turning often, until golden. Add garlic and ginger. Reduce heat to medium and cook 30 seconds. Remove.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil in skillet. Add asparagus, peppers, edamame and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add orange juice mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in tofu and green onions and toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired, and serve immediately over brown rice.
Per serving: Calories 230, fat 11 g, sodium 470 mg, carbohydrates 20 g, saturated fat 1 g, calcium 247 mg, protein 19 g, cholesterol 0 g, dietary fiber 7 g
EDAMAME,GREEN BEAN AND CHICKPEA SALAD
Servings: Eight to 10
Note: To toast cumin seeds, cook in a dry, heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until they are fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. From "Gourmet Today" edited by Ruth Reichl.
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 oz. (about 2½ cups) frozen shelled edamame
1 (19-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large garlic clove
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon finely chopped serrano chile, including seeds, or to taste
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted (see Note)
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Cook green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water, uncovered, until crisp-tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. With a wire skimmer or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer beans to a large bowl of ice water. When beans are cool, transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
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