"I have a recipe I need for you to figure out," said the voice on the other end my cell phone. For a moment, I felt a bit like it was some sort of test, competition, or game so I froze and just listened. As it turned out, it was SL'S mom, one of my best friends asking for a specific recipe to get created. Edamame Salad. That's what she wanted. She was at a restaurant and proceeded to describe what she saw there (incidentally was not eating, but just SAW) and asked me to make something along the same lines. She wanted to make one to make for SL's first birthday party bash as she has part of the menu figured out, with the Korean BBQ Flank Steak and the Ginger Soy Bbq Chicken, but is looking for sides. She decided she wanted an edamame salad - a great color counterpoint to the grilled meats as well as being a simple side. I told her I'd work on it and figure it out.
A few things I kept at the back of my mind - I wanted a salad that could be made a bit ahead of time, and one that was really refreshing to counteract the richness of the meats. I wanted simple flavors that really held up well and would be something that you couldn't stop eating. I decided to do two versions of dressings - one with a soy sesame base, and one a vinegar ginger base and decide which one was more along the lines of what I was looking for. I tried it out on a few people and the result was split as to what was preferred - I definitely had a preference for the ginger vinegar based one - because it simply tasted FRESH. Fresh and light and none of the heaviness and richness that I associate with soy sauce and sesame oil.
The salad is best made about 3 hours ahead of time, but no more than that. It needs to be nice and cold for optimum flavor. If you need to make things ahead of time, get the dressing done, have the edamame boiled and shelled, and the veggies chopped. Then 3 hours before you need it, just dump it all together and chill it in the fridge. The flavors will marry beautifully and you will have a wonderfully refreshing and light salad.
Edamame Salad with Ginger Dressing
2 packs frozen edamame beans in their shells. (generally about 400 grams. If you choose to go with preshelled beans, you'll need around 2 1/2 cups.)
Salt for boiling liquid
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup scallions chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cook edamame beans according to package directions. When done cooking, make sure to rinse well with cold water to stop cooking. Alternatively, drain the hot water, and then dump the beans into a bowl full of ice water. Set aside.
2. Mix ingredients for dressing together.
3. Shell the edamame. Place the beans into a bowl. Pour dressing on top. Add cilantro, bell peppers, scallions. Toss to coat. Chill in the refrigerator before serving, up to 3 hours.
Preparation note: If you are planning on making this ahead of time, cook the edamame and shell them, have the veggies chopped and ready to go and the dressing ready. Keep everything in the refrigerator, and then 1 hour before you need to serve, simply toss it all together and return it to the refrigerator.