I don’t know about you but I find edamame (pronounced: ed-ah-MAH-may) in the pods completely addicting. They’re typically served slightly salty and steamy hot, I just can’t stop myself when they’re set out before me. I think a bowl before dinner is not only a delicious and healthy way to start a meal, but it’s also a great way to gather the troops around the table as you put the finishing touches on whatever the main course might be. Though you were probably introduced to edamame in an Asian restaurant (and today’s Spicy Sesame Edamame has a Japanese flair) it needn’t strictly be a precursor to Asian feasts. Edamame is a versatile little guy.
Spicy Sesame Edamame
In the classic preparation, edamame is boiled or steamed and tossed with excellent sea salt. I love the way the briny flavors get licked from your lips and fingers. It makes edamame a uniquely enjoyable dining experience. Edamame tastes great served this simply, but what makes it completely addicting is the innovative pairing of spicy sesame salt to compliment its natural nuttiness.
My sesame edamame recipe has the same salty allure as the classic version, but there’s the added bonus of a slight tingle to the lips as you slip each pod into your mouth. Of course, you’ll lick your fingers and exhale with satisfaction as your reach for another, and another. You won’t be able to stop because you will experience the kind of thrill that you associate with an all too exciting but forbidden kiss. A healthy squeeze of aromatic lemon adds to the sensuality.
Spicy Sesame Edamame gets its allure from a combination of shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili powder) and a Japanese spice blend known as goshimo (also spelled gomasio). You can find both in the Asian section of good grocery stores. However, check the labels. While shichimi togarashi usually contains nothing but natural ingredients, several of the Asian brands of goshimo I looked at had all kinds of additives (even MSG). Good goshimo should be nothing more than unhulled sesame seeds and sea salt, so why not make your own. The traditional ratio is anywhere between 5 and 15 parts toasted sesame seeds to 1 part coarse sea salt. I tend to prefer 15/1. GREG