Eggplant with edamame dressing

Eggplant with edamame dressing

This beautiful creation was inspired by our shojin ryori cookbook, The Enlightened Kitchen. Trust me, it really was beautiful, even if the picture looks a little, well, odd.

Our brilliant lime green sauce came out a bit lumpier than the picture in the book, probably because our blender isn’t so great (the recipe recommends a food processor). But this didn’t affect the taste.

Yusuke cut the baby eggplants into long strips and fried them in sesame oil (the recipe calls for 4 tbsp!!!) until soft. Then 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp soy sauce were stirred in to coat the slices.

Dressing ingredients:
240 g (8 1/2 oz) edamame beans
100 ml (a bit more than 1/3 c) konbu (seaweed) stock
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt

We used frozen edamame beans, which were already shelled. Yusuke boiled them first, and then blended them to a smooth paste while adding the konbu stock. He then stirred in the vinegar, mirin, and salt to complete the sauce.

Edamame is common in Japan, but unusual elsewhere, so I brushed up on its properties via wikipedia. Because I am lazy, and perhaps you are, too, I will quote:

“Edamame is a preparation of baby soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China and Korea. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole.

Outside East Asia, the dish is most often found in Japanese restaurants and some Chinese restaurants, but has also found popularity elsewhere as a healthful food item.” (“Edamame.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edamame, accessed August 22, 2009.) And here’s a random article with a few interesting tidbits: “Oh soy, can you see: Edamame market climbing like Jack’s Beanstalk …”

In Japan, edamame is a common bar snack, restaurant appetizer, and bento item.

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