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Edamame

Edamame versatile, great protein source

There was a time not so long ago that the soybean was an ingredient that was relegated to the soy sauce or tofu in our recipes.

Some enterprising chef realized that the soybean in its fresh form as edamame is a fabulous food and voilÀ, a new food craze is off and running.

Edamame (or the soybean) is a green vegetable that is packed full of protein and is a wonderful source for calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, foliate and iron. These large beans come in a pod that looks like a pea pod, only bigger. They are harvested early in their growth cycle so the beans are still tender and green and haven’t matured.

The best way to use the edamame is to parboil in lightly salted water, rinse, drain and cool, and then remove the bean from the pod. Edamame is so versatile it’s great eaten all by itself or in salads, soups, stir fry, pasta dishes and any kind of casseroles into which you want to add some protein.

Peppers Edamame and Quinoa

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2/3 cup golden raisins

1 red onion, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

8 to 12 bib lettuce leaves

In a bowl combine the garlic, honey, soy sauce and vinegar. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, edamame, pepper, raisins and onion and mix to combine. Pour the sauce over the quinoa and mix together until the mixture is completely coated. To serve, place 2 leaves on each serving plate and spoon some of the quinoa mixture into it. Serves 4 to 6.

Sesame Chicken Edamame

2 teaspoons oil

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh lemongrass

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)

2 cups frozen bell pepper stir-fry mix

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup ( 1/4 -inch) diagonally cut green onions

2 teaspoons dark sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the ginger, lemongrass and garlic; sauté 1 minute or just until mixture begins to brown. Add the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes. Add edamame and stir-fry mix; cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add the liquid to the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the onions, sesame seeds and salt. Mix to combine and serve over rice or noodles. Serves 6 to 8.

Garlic Edamame

1/2 cup water

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 (16 ounce) packages frozen edamame

1/2 cup teriyaki or soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 to 1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked and drained

1/4 cup sesame seeds

Bring the water and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in the edamame, and cook until the edamame are hot and the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Stir constantly until the sauce has thickened and coats the edamame, about 4 minutes. Add the cooked pasta, toss to combine and place the mixture in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and serve. Serves 6 as a side dish 4 as a main course.

– Modified from Cooking Light, March 2006 – Submitted by Jore Cardase of Chicago Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@frontier.com or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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