If you love edamame, you’ll wonder, like I did, why anyone would feel they need to “cook” the cute little green pods. I love them simply warm, with a sprinkling of coarse salt, al dente but soft enough to easily pop out of the pods. What more could you ask for? I see people at sushi bars dousing them with soy sauce or popping the beans into their dish of soy sauce/wasabi and I shudder. It seems blasphemous to torture edamame in this way.
My mom and I trade recipes often. Sometimes it’s a dish I’ve come across that I have come to love and want to share; sometimes these same recipes go untouched in her kitchen because it’s too much work. She’ll send me recipes she’s found in the paper or someone’s made for her in Hawaii, and sometimes these recipes go untouched in my kitchen because there’s too much boxed cake mix and I’m in a snobby food mood. Other times, it’s because I don’t feel like messing with a good thing. However, there are times when I’ve discovered that I should listen to my mom more often. Her scallops recipe is one time (drain on paper towels for a day to get a seared crust and then deglaze with apricot brandy); this edamame one is another.
If you’ve been to Roy’s restaurant, you may have had enhanced edamame – warm, salty, with a kick of chili pepper. You may have even enjoyed them, and then dismissed it as a fancy restaurant gimmick. Well, let me tell you, sometimes fancy gimmicks are worthwhile treats.
I still love plain edamame, warm with a sprinkle of kosher salt. Or even cold and nibbled one by one as I sit at my desk, waiting for lunchtime. But if I have time before dinner and there are fresh edamame in the fridge, I can easily be persuaded to make these. These are salty from the soy sauce but they also have that irresistible lure of sesame oil. There is some garlic and a hint of ginger and then a sprinkle of peppery spice. Because the pods get warm and slightly charred, they give up the sweet beans easily, leaving you to lick the garlicky, salty tastiness from the outsides on your way out.
My edamame now come from Costco, from the refrigerated section. I used to buy the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s, but they don’t seem to be there anymore. Perhaps as a result of this announcement? In any case, if you have frozen edamame, cook according to the package directions, drain, then proceed with this recipe. It’ll be amazing and you’ll love it. The best part is, after you make it a few times you can stop measuring and just start throwing things in as you please.
1 pound edamame in the pod
2 TB salt
3 TB sesame oil
2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. white sesame seeds
1 TB sugar
1 TB soy sauce
1 to 2 tsp. shichimi (Japanese chili pepper, see: small red bottle above)
Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 TB of the oil and toss in the edamame. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until well-coated with the oil.
Make a well in the edamame and add the remaining 1 TB oil, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry for 20 to 30 seconds, until barely light golden brown, then add the sesame seeds to the well. Stir to mix evenly, coating the edamame. Sprinkle in the sugar and toss several times, allowing the sugar to melt and glaze the edamame. Add the soy sauce, shichimi and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, if necessary. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.