Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Stalking the Beans

Tagliatelle di Grano Saraceno con Semi di Soia, Zenzero, Scalogno e Salsa di Ostriche
Buckwheat Noodles with Edamame, Ginger, Scallions & Oyster Sauce

Well believe it or believe it not- this was my first dish using Edamame! Soy beans, in their natural state, are something that we do not get and do not recognize soy beans in their natural state over here... which is such a shame! I first tried edamame in the USA, in the traditional way- steamed in the pod and sprinkled with coarse salt, to pop in your mouth and out of the pod as an appetizer... and I loved them!

So you can imagine how delighted I was to discover them at an Asian supermarket here! I picked them up about a month ago and somehow never got around to preparing them... but this evening, home late from work and hungry- I wanted to make something quick, easy and satisfying... and I remembered my little green treasures and decided their time had come!

You can't get much quicker and easier than this folks- I am talking 10 minutes at the most here! Pay attention now... if you blink you might just miss something!

I started off by bringing a saucepan of water to the boil and adding the noodles... which softened up really quickly- as buckwheat noodles do! As soon as they softened and I was able to stir them, once the water had come back up to a steady, rolling ball, I added the edamame, straight from frozen into the water. As frozen edamame are already pre-boiled, they only need 4-5 minutes at the most of cooking time... so as soon as the water began to boil again, I reduced the heat to a low simmer and let the noodles and beans continue to bubble away...

In the meantime, I finely chopped about a 1" slice of ginger and a small clove of garlic and finely sliced a shallot. I sautéed them in just a couple of drops of sesame oil in a hot frying pan, stirring constantly and added a tiny pinch of sugar, so as to caramelize them just a little. 

In the meantime the noodles and edamame were finished, so I drained them and rinsed them with cold water to cool them right down and stop the cooking process. I then pinched the edamame pods slightly and popped out the beans, straight into the noodles. And sure, I could have boiled or steamed the edamame in another saucepan... but that would be "me", would it? one tip is- if your squeeze the beans towards the direction of the stem and not towards the tip, the bean will pop out easily :-)

Once the beans were shelled, I set the crisply fried shallot ginger and garlic to one side and passed the noodles straight over into the now vacant frying pan. Vacant- but with lots of good flavors fried into the base! I added a drizzle of sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce and a couple of tablespoonfuls of oyster sauce... and that was all of the seasoning this dish needed. Once everything was heated through nicely, I served up the noodles with a little finely chopped parsley (I had no cilantro at home... which would also have been nice) and topped off my dish with the crisp and golden shallot, ginger and garlic. A last drizzle of soy sauce, a drop or two of sesame oil and a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and sesame seeds and supper was served!

Easy but good, this is a perfect solution for something quick, light and fantastic! What's not to like!?! Give it a go and see for yourself! And whatever you do... enjoy!

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