Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On a Foodie high! It must be the Edamame!

Three posts in as many days!

What to do - there are just so many awesome ingredients coming my way!

Vikram dropped off fresh Edamame over the weekend and coincidentally I also found some at the Warden rd. Natures basket.

I loved Edamame (eh-dah-MAH-meh)when I tried them at Origami a while ago. The Japanese have long snacked on edamame, or green soybeans and the same have been quite popular amongst culinary circles since Japanese food became popular in India but it is another thing to find them at your local store! (well almost, it's just a mater of time before they will be). It seems Mumbaikars are tuning into the charms of this super bean...

The Japanese boil the whole pods in salted water and serve them with beer (Asahi) and one simply uses one's teeth to squeeze the beans out of the salted pods. Which is want I did with the fresh lot while I contemplated what to do with the frozen ones. Very addictive and over so soon. ...

But having more of the frozen ones, I did a Sesame Chicken Don with them. Don is the affectionate short name for Donburi which are Japanese one bowl meals of rice topped with a stew of some sort or other.

My husband and I are watching our diet and have found that plating food (or in this case bowling :P) really works. Once we are through our serving, the time it takes to go to the kitchen counter to serve ourselves again allows our tummies time to send the message to our brain advising how much more we want. Most times, we end up with just one more spoonful or veto the second serving completely.

The Soya Chicken for our meal today was a given, it was first a runaway success when I made it to stuff Vietnamese rice paper rolls last summer and has been popular at the Ghildiyal table ever since. It would provide the right slightly saucy, salty - spicy foil for the moist savoury rice.

The rice recipe is a concoction all my own, I wanted a delicate combination reminiscent of Japanese cuisine that would not overwhelm the herby green flavour of the Edamame and yet appeal to the Indian palate of my family. Also having to watch my carbohydrate intake due to gestational diabetes, I wanted to avoid white rice and decided to use red rice.

Which in retrospect was a brilliant choice because in addition to offering just the right nutty foil to the Edamame, it also cooked to a beautifully state of sticky but grainy and al dente and was very like Japanese sticky rice in texture.

For best results start cooking the Chicken when your rice is almost done so everything comes to the table freshly cooked. I followed up with fresh mangoes for dessert.

Don of Soya Chicken over red rice cooked with Edamame and toasted Sesame oil

Prep - 1/2 hour

Cooking 20 minutes if done simultaneously, 1/2 hour if done individually

Yeild - about 5 servings

For the rice

300 g red rice ( this time I used Indrani red rice from concious foods)

8 cups stock

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (black/white or a combination - whatever you prefer)

2 cups frozen blanched shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed

1/2 tsp white pepper

Salt to taste

1/3 cup toasted Sesame oil

Wash rice well and place in a large, deep pan with stock, pepper and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer untill rice is starting to swell (about 10-12 mins). Add edamame, stir well and allow to keep cooking. At this point start cooking your chicken. When stock is almost gone, stir in sesame seed and oil. Stir well, cover and leave to steam untill ready to eat.

For the chicken

250 g Chicken breast pieces cut to bite size

250 g Onion sliced fine lengthwise

1/2 cup Soya sauce (the regular one we get)

Salt to taste (be careful with salt as ther is already Soya sauce in this recipe)

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (or 2 tbsp of any natural vinegar)

2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chui Chow Chilli Oil (optional)

Combine everything and set aside for 1/2 an hour.
Transfer to a saucepan and place on the flame. Cook untill he chicken is done - it should be moist and succulent and the marinade should reduce to a thick sauce

To serve,

Place rice in individual bowl and top with Chicken. I usually serve a light brothy chicken soup on the side to wash things down with and add a few unspiced Sago (Sabudana pappads) on the side for crunch.

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