Friday, February 15, 2013

Tales of the Culinary Challenged: In Edamame Heaven

Back when I was still making bento, I was really obsessed with finding edamame. Edamame is a Japanese word that means cooked soybeans in the pod. It's a popular snack in Japan, and the restaurants serve it as an appetizer. All the cool bento lunches on the Internet had it too, but unfortunately, I could never find it here. Whenever I would go on bento paraphernalia sprees, I would also scour the Japanese groceries accessible to me for it, but to no avail.

Now though, bento boxes can be easily bought at Daiso, Saizen, and Japanese Home, and one of my favorite Japanese restaurants, Yabu, serves edamame in their appetizer sets. I knew it was about time edamame showed up in stores. Yesterday, it finally did. My friend Cielo found it at Kang's - the Korean grocery store at Valero St. in Makati! Since my fiance, Aleq, is her officemate,  she accompanied him to the store and he got me a pack. Thank you Cielo and Aleq!

I already had an idea how to cook it, but Cielo sent me this page with instructions so I followed that today, and wow, was it awesome. I took pics of course! Here's how I did it.

This large pack of edamame cost 160 pesos. It had enough to make 2-3 bowls - pretty good deal. 

Soybean goodness! I keep the pack in my chiller so it doesn't get too frozen.

Start by putting water and about half a tablespoon of salt in a pan.

Wait for it to boil.

Then gently put the soybean pods in the water. I used about half of the pack.

Set your timer to 4 minutes. If the pods are really frozen, maybe make it 5 minutes, but 4 was perfect for me.

When the timer stops, turn the stove off and pour the entire thing into a strainer and get rid of the water. (Damn I need a colander!)

Transfer the beans into a bowl and sprinkle salt all over them. That's it! 

You can also just make your life easier by nuking it in a microwave, like how one of my favorite Tech people, Chris Pirillo, does it. I just don't know if this brand's packaging is microwaveable - just use a microwaveable container to be safe.  

Edamame is my new favorite snack, and that's a big deal, considering I don't like vegetables all that much. It's SO good! I love that it's healthy and tasty and so fun to eat too.

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