Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kitchening: Edamane, Mao Dou, Hairy Beans, Soy Bean!

When I first moved to China, soy beans were not terribly appetizing to me. That might be because they're called hairy beans in Mandarin. Recently, however, I've discovered just how good they are (and of course, they're so good for you.) Also, popping the beans out of their shell makes them a very satisfying and interactive snack.

Edamame: The Snack of the Future

1. Wash the edamame. Make sure to pick out any that are mushy. (I recently had a bad batch with some creepy crawlies, but that isn't normal...just keep a watch out.)

2. Cut off one end of each bean. This will help get in some of the briny water when you cook them. Some folks like to trim both ends, but I think that lets in too much salt water.

3. Salt is so good, right? In moderation of course. Throw your freshly trimmed edamame into a pot and sprinkle the salt over them. Toss to coat and then let sit for 20-30 minutes. I've found that the beans are more flavorful doing it this way rather than simply boiling them in salt water.

4. Fill the pot with just enough eater to cover all the beans. Bring the water to a boil and cook about 5 minutes once the water is bubbling. Be careful not to overcook them or they start tasting like vegetables at the Western Sizzling on Sunday.

5. Remove from heat. And drain the water. Allow the beans to cool a little because they can burn your tongue (or so I hear.) If you're not going to eat all the beans in one sitting (try not to, I dare you), then reserve some of the salt water and let it cool. Then place the cooled beans in it and store in the fridge to keep them fresh and to help the flavors meld a little more.

No comments: