You must be thinking that I’m in a cool food mood these days. Indeed, we’ve had an unusually warm summer in Santa Cruz, though punctuated with the expected foggy mornings. But that aside, summer always begs easy breezy recipes that you can have sitting in the fridge, right? That way, you can pull them out for a nutty nibble, or to add to something else.
This Chinese cold edamame dish is an old one, based on a recipe that used lima beans that I found in Irene Kuo’s classic, The Key to Chinese Cooking. I’ve made them with frozen limas and favas but the edamame is extra nice. Plus, they don’t mush during cooking.
A fast-and-easy recipe, you don’t even have to fully thaw the soybeans. I like to add a pile to a composed salad, steal a few from the fridge for an afternoon snack, or nibble on some with beer. They’re good as a side with grilled vegetables or seafood (I’m thinking salmon).
Chilled Edamame with Star Anise
Yield: Serves 4 as nibble or side
- 10 ounces frozen shelled edamame (green/young soybeans)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 star anise (8 robust points)
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Put the edamame soybeans in a bowl and let them thaw for 5 to 10 minutes. They’ll get kind of icy looking. Separate any that are stuck together.
- Heat a medium skillet over high heat, then add the oil. Dump in the beans and let them cook, stirring constantly, till they’re bright green and have lost their cold look, about 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle on the salt and sugar, stir quickly, then add the star anise and stock (or water). Bring to a vigorous simmer, partially cover and lower the heat to bubble away for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, then cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated. Add the sesame oil, stir, then pour into a serving dish. Cool for a few minutes, then cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to develop the flavor. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.
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