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I had spicy edamame beans at a sushi restaurant for the first time a little while ago and I can tell you I have never been this surprised and impressed with a dish. Up until that dinner I had only ever had plain steamed and salted edamame and I always found those to be “meh” at best. Well, it turns out that spicy edamame are a completely different story! They are exciting and full of interesting flavors; a bit garlicky, a bit smoky, a bit salty and a bit spicy. You get all these flavors when you bite into the pod to squeeze out the actual beans. It’s a really addictive appetizer, we ate the entire plate barely taking a breath between bites.
Naturally I tried to replicate the recipe at home. Since it seems impossible to create the smokiness you get from a restaurant-quality wok and burner at home I resorted to liquid smoke and while that’s not exactly the same thing it does come close. In addition to that I added sambal, garlic, salt and dried red pepper flakes. The dish is easy to make, you just steam or boil the edamame beans, then heat the remaining ingredients in a bit of vegetable oil, toss the beans in the oil and voila, you’re done. If you’ve only ever had regular salted edamame I urge you to try this, it will change your view of the vegetable completely!
- 1 pound frozen edamame beans in their shells
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sambal
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
- Steam or boil the edamame beans according to package instructions. Drain and let dry.
- Heat up oil, garlic, liquid smoke, salt, sambal and red pepper flakes in a pan, then add the edamame beans and stir to coat.
- For more spiciness sprinkle more red pepper flakes on.
Food Photography and Styling: I saw these old wood planks sitting in an alley behind a store here in town a few weeks ago and thought they might work well as a surface and it turns out they do! The store owner said he would love for me to take them off his hands so that just goes to show that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. The burlap is a really cute small bag that I got at a distillery a few months ago (the bottle of gin I bought was in it) and it worked perfectly as a placemat type-of-thing here. To reinforce the idea that these edamame are spicy I set a small jar with crushed red pepper flakes into the composition (and since the recipe says that you can sprinkle on flakes to taste that wasn’t too far fetched). As usual I used my strobe to light the set.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight.