Edamame with a Twist

We’ve all been snacking on edamame for quite some time now and there isn’t an easier, healthier bowl to put out for family or friends any time of the year, any day of the week.  Boil a pot of water, throw in a bag of frozen pods, cook for 4-5 minutes, drain and season liberally with kosher salt. Ta-da!

That’s all good but recently I’ve been ordering edamame in restaurants to try to get a feel for the different twists being brought to the table.  The great news is that the options are plentiful; chefs are having fun with this “old” standby.  There is edamame seasoned with dry rubs. There’s charred edamame hot off the grill. And there are sauced edamame that have you licking your fingers clean.

Sauce fanatic that I am, when it came to experimenting at home this is the realm on which I became focused.  Initially, I tried a super quick par-boil, followed by a sear on the hot grill and then a saucy finish in the pan–as you would imagine, the edamame couldn’t withstand all that heat and I ended up with over-cooked, over-worked soy beans.  So I eliminated the grill and tried to achieve a slight char in the wok, while perfecting a sauce with an Asian flair.  I’m satisfied with the result and imagine that you will be too.  I used a wok which made it easy to manipulate the ingredients but a large saute pan would work fine.  These are best served hot, pan to bowl, and I would recommend doing so by having your pods par-boiled and all of your ingredients measured out so that they are ready to go just as your first guests are grabbing their first drinks.  What do they say, the early bird gets the worm?

Seared Asian Edamame

Seared Asian Edamame

Seared Asian Edamame
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  1. 1 lb frozen edamame (in pods)
  2. 2 Tbls sesame oil, divided
  3. 1 Tbls minced ginger
  4. 1 Tbls minced garlic
  5. 1 Tbls soy sauce
  6. 1 Tbls hot chili paste
  7. 1/2 Tbls red pepper spice of red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
  8. 1 Tbls sugar
  9. pat of butter
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 1 Tbls sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add edamame and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or saute pan over medium-high heat (more high than medium!).  Add 1 Tbls of sesame oil and then add the edamame.  Allow to sear for a couple of seconds before stirring and then sear again, total of about 30 seconds.  Make a well in the center of your pan and add the remaining 1 Tbls of sesame oil, followed by the ginger and garlic.  Saute until golden and mix into the edamame.  Moving quickly, add the soy sauce, chili paste and red pepper. Stir to coat and by this point you should be noticing a nice char on your pods.  Sprinkle evenly with the sugar to help carmelization and mix again.  Add a pat of butter, stir to coat.  Finish with salt and sesame seeds.  Serve in a large bowl with an empty bowl to discard pods...have napkins handy.
Adapted from Chef David Kogan
Adapted from Chef David Kogan
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