Monday, March 23, 2009

Warm edamame salad with mirin and citrus vinaigrette

An easy way to prepare a tasty satisfying lunch in no time is to give it an Asian touch. The ingredients are straightforward and healthy, and the preparation requires nothing more than a little chopping and stir-frying.

Sometimes I will impatiently shred some pieces off a leftover roast I may have in the fridge and toss it together with some steamed greens. Arrange a quick sauce with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, and I’m good to go.

Other times, especially in winter, I’ll make a quick miso soup with a dashi and kombu as a base and just throw in whatever I feel like or happen to have on hand : chopped scallions, a handful of fresh shitake, dried or fresh wakame, some cubed tofu, and of course red miso paste.

The idea for this recipe just popped out of nowhere one day I was really hungry but not willing to give up on taste. It is relatively easy to prepare especially if like me you always keep unseasoned steamed vegetables in the fridge (my 20 month old will eat up about 2 pounds of those a week which explains why I always have them ready to go).

For this warm edamame salad I proceeded as follows. I first pan fried firm tofu, tossed in frozen edamame I had first blanched, added chopped scallions and steamed broccoli florets. I microplaned a clove of garlic and a slice of ginger for extra zing. I then combined mirin, freshly squeezed orange juice, soy sauce and rice vinegar for my mirin citrus vinaigrette I and poured it on top at the last minute. For the final touch, I used chopped cilantro and a drizzle of sesame oil.

I absolutely loved the way the crunch of the edamame balanced out the soft smooth tofu to create a texturally balanced dish.

The concept is pretty versatile and would taste great with many different foods you might already have. So play around with the ingredients add sugar snaps, asparagus, chicken, shitake or any kind of mushroom, shreds of toasted nori, any kind of toasted seed or nut. The only rule is to use healthy, minimally handled, just cooked through, fresh ingredients.

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