Last week I attended a birthday party at a friend's house. He rarely cooks but when he does, he is highly experimental and innovative.
I had a drink and was busy chatting with fabulous guests, discussing the recent catastrophic Christian Dior Fall 2011 couture collection. All while inspecting the food table and scooping up various dishes onto my plate.
And then I suddenly experienced an explosion... in my mouth. A crunchy, fresh, slightly spicy wave of YUMZERS! hit my taste buds like an otherworldy tsunami.
I was hooked.
My friend loves the traditional edamame snacks served in Japan with cold beer after work, but thinks it gets too salty and also clumsy when you're sucking the beans out of the peel while greeting new people and holding your drink at parties. So he invented this Edamame Explosion Salad to serve at parties and beach blanket barbeques.
Here is the recipe and I know you will love it too.
EDAMAME EXPLOSION SALAD
2 cups soya beans
1 small bag baby leaf salad
1 cup crayfish tails (bay shrimp will do)
1 small carrot
A handful of sugar snap peas
Dressing: 1 part extra virgin olive oil, 1 part vinegar, 1 part mustard. Salt and pepper.
Simple as that. Let's make it!
1. Wash the edamame beans. I bought a frozen bag in the local Asian supermarket. You can probably get them fresh in certain areas of the world - like Tokyo, Berkeley or other places that put a value on fresh food (humf).
2. Put your sugar snap peas in a heat resistant bowl and boil some water.
3. The reason you don't just wash them is that a lot of sugar snap peas are grown on farms in countries that like to water your vegetables with toilet water (why let waste go to waste?). This results in stomach aches, infections or death by vomiting, so please: boil your peas.
4. Pour the boiling water over the peas and let them soak while you attend the other vegetables.
5. Wash and dry the baby salad leaves. A good mix of different kinds is always a treat.
6. Chop and slice the little carrot. I want a julienne shredding tool for Christmas.
7. Easy avocado trick: Cut the fruit in two and use a knife to slice into the green meat.
This specimen wasn't exactly ripe enough but the show must go on.
8. After slicing in both directions, dig out the meat with a spoon. Easy! And no cut off fingers or dirty chopping board!
9. Pour the water from the crayfish tails and dry them as you don't want a wet salad.
10. Back to the sugar snap peas: throw away the now lukewarm water and rinse well in cold water. Slice thinly.
11. Get the olive oil, vinegar and mustard out.
Mix well with salt and pepper for a smooth and spicy groove.
12. Ok guys, here we go. Everybody, in!
13. Stir carefully around to coat the dressing into the salad. I probably should have made a little more dressing--it depends on what you prefer. Americans usually like the salad to sail around in a canoe on a sea of dressing. The Japanese like to sprinkle a little on to still be able to taste the ingredients.
Ready! Works very well as a fresh summer party snack (leave small bowls for your guests to eat it) or a light lunch salad. The slight spice of the mustard makes you crave more beer which is always a good move if you want your guests drunk, wet and wild.