I love edamame (aka good ‘ole soybeans), but my experience with it never went beyond the appetizer basket we’d order at the sushi place sometimes. Warm, lightly salted and still in their pods, the pea-green beans spit out easily and are kind of the al dente version of the bean world. Of course, I’ve never cooked with them myself and it took till actually writing this darn post to realize where I went wrong with this recipe. Or where I think I may have gone wrong.
OK, see those spring-y green beans up there? Yeah, I shelled them before I cooked them. Which is where I may have gone wrong with the recipe. I don’t know for sure, but it probably would have been better to cook the beans in their pods, cool them, then shell them. Since I did the opposite, it may account for why my soybeans were almost a little mealy. Or maybe they’d been in the freezer at the store too long. Whichever it is, I say make sure to cook them in their pods, then shell. As is, they weren’t too bad, just not the texture I was expecting, not quite crisp-tender enough.
Other than that, this salad has all kinds of fresh, yummy things. Above we have exhibit B, or what I like to call How To Butcher An Orange. You just want to slice the bottom and top off till you expose the fruit, then follow the curve of the fruit with a sharp knife, removing the peel and pith as you go. This gets easier the more you do it. Until then, commence butchering!
Also starring in this salad are the savory red bell pepper and red onion. The whole thing has this tangy sweet and sour deal happening.
I experimented with the dressing a little by adding a little bit of sugar at a time until it wasn’t quite so wowzas tangy and sour. It uses rice vinegar, which of course has a kick to it that will make you screw your face into a hideous mask. A little sugar cuts this somewhat, so if you try that route, just make sure, again, to do a little at a time. Honey might also be a good option.
Um, gee, we sliced some fruit and veggies, cooked us some edamame, made an easy dressing and – we’re done! Don’t blink, folks or you’ll miss this one. Once you taste it, though, you won’t forget it. If the idea of all these ingredients appeals to you, then you’ll probably really enjoy this very fresh, ready-for-Spring side. Personally, I need to work on the dressing a bit more, but it has great potential. I can see this being perfect for family picnics, summer barbecues, parties where you need to pitch in something quick and easy. The possibilities, they are endless. Enjoy!
Edamame & Orange Salad
from Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons via WilliamsSonoma.com
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: about 5 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4
- 1 package (10 or 12 oz.) frozen shelled edamame
- 2 navel oranges
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook according to the package instructions. Drain well. Set aside.
Cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of each orange to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright on a cutting board. Following the contour of the fruit and rotating it with each cut, slice downward to remove the peel, pith and membrane. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut along each side of the membrane between the sections, letting each freed section drop into the bowl. Cut each orange section crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces.
In a salad bowl, combine the oranges, edamame, onion and bell pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, orange zest and ginger until blended.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir gently to mix. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the cilantro and serve.
After looking up cooking edamame some more, do make sure you don’t over cook them, or they might get mushy. I don’t believe I did, but again, them not being in the pods still may have affected that.