I have fallen in love with edamame a couple of months ago. These bright green, kidney-shaped young soy beans are the healthiest and one of the most delicious snacks I know. In Japanese edamame (枝豆) means twig bean and it designs not only the beans themselves but the simple snack of boiled edamame, often served in izakaya bars. Young soy beans are also eaten in China and Hawaii, but the Japanese seem to be particularly fond of them.
Apart from their big advantages as a light, rich in protein snack, edamame beans can easily be blended into all sorts of preparations and their lovely green hue embellishes every dish. I love mixing them with rice, stir-fried dishes or putting them in soups. When a couple of days ago I started to look for an original New Year’s Eve snack idea, edamame instantly came to my mind. I decided to make a Japanese version of the French savoury cake I wrote about ten days ago (click here), adding also shrimp, sesame seeds and “moisturising” the cake with silken tofu instead of the usual quark cheese.
I must say I was very pleased with the results of this surprisingly easy experiment. Apart from the beautiful, bright, Spring colours, this French-Japanese cake is moist, light, delicately flavoured and, in spite of being boiled and baked, edamame add a slightly crunchy note. If you still have time to buy edamame and shrimp, this might be a good idea for an original New Year’s Eve appetiser. It will certainly go well with a glass of white wine, champagne, shochu or sake.
Happy New Year, my dear friends!
Ingredients (for a 30 cm x 10 cm (about 12 x 4 inches) baking dish or two 4 cm x 30 cm (about 1,6 x 12 inches) dishes):
200 g (7 oz) silken tofu (or 200 g quark cheese/fromage blanc + 125 ml milk (approx. 1/2 cup) )
50 ml oil (approx. 1/5 cup)
250 ml flour (approx. 1 cup)
1 flat tablespoon salt
1 package baking powder (16 g/ about 0.5 oz)
200 g (7 oz) cooked edamame beans
200 g (7 oz) cooked and shelled shrimps or prawns, cut into pieces (unless they are very small)
(2 tablespoons sesame seeds)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Mix the eggs, the tofu (or the cheese+milk), the flour, the baking powder and the oil in a food processor until the batter is smooth (if you use the cheese you don’t need a food processor; a spoon is enough to combine everything). Season with salt. Add the edamame beans and the shrimp. Stir delicately.
Grease a rectangular 30 x 10 cm baking dish or line it with baking paper.
Pour the cake preparation. (Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like them.)
Bake one hour or until the cake is golden brown. Let it cool down. Serve it sliced and then cut into 2 or 4 bite-sized pieces or, if using as a sandwich alternative, simply cut into slices.