Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chili Roasted Edamame

Edamame, pronounced "ěd'ə-mä'mā," is a preparation of baby soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, Hawaii and Korea, according to wikipedia. The pods are normally boiled in water together with salt and then served whole. To eat these, you pop the soybean out of the shell using your teeth and discard the pod, just eating the soybean.

Outside East Asia, the dish is most often found in Japanese restaurants and some Chinese restaurants, but has also found popularity elsewhere as a healthful food item.

The Japanese name literally means "twig bean" (eda = "twig" + mame = "bean"), and is a reference to the short stem attached to the pod. This term originally referred to young soybeans in general. Over time, however, the prevalence of the salt-boiled preparation meant that the term edamame now often refers specifically to this dish.

To make this spicy roasted edemame I mix minced garlic, red chili sauce, black pepper, celery salt, onion powder, dried basil and olive oil. The exact measurements are not that important, give it a taste test to check for spiciness.

Here is a general rule of thumb:
1 1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

These soy beans were already cooked, they were purchased ready to eat in the produce section of my grocery store. After I combined the ingredients, I dumped the mixture on the pods that I spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
With the oven pre-heated to 350, I tossed the soybean pods with the dressing.

Arrange the beans in a single layer and roast, uncovered, at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring once. Serve as a vegetable side dish or as a snack. Refrigerate any leftovers.

I like to steam soybeans when I get home from work, and munch on them while I cook dinner. They are a light and healthy nosh that keeps me from woofing down dinner when it is ready. This dressing really provides a KICK to my usual snack - it helps me get more water in for sure.

You can find these in several areas of most grocery stores. I've purchased them frozen in a bag in the freezer aisle, sometimes just the soybeans, and sometimes they are in the pods. You can also sometimes find these in the produce section where all the health-nut food is like tofu, etc.

I like to buy them in the pods, so it becomes an "activity" to eat these. I think of them like pistachios. If I sit down with already shelled pistachio nuts, I could probably eat two pounds in one sitting because they are so easy to pop in my mouth by the handful. If I buy the pistachio nuts that are in their shell, it becomes a little work to crack the shell and eat the nut - thus slowing me down a little.

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