July 11, 2011

Edamame Education: The Basics

A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak at the Bay Area Association of Kidney Patients.

I met some amazing folks…

said a few things (http://www.vimeo.com/25442598)…

and I even walked away with a nifty gifty basket of goodies from Trader Joes. Just polished of an entire bottle off salt-free balsamic vinegar. Thanks, Trader Giovinni!

But beyond the chit chat and tchotchkes, I also left with some brand new ideas for low-sodium recipes. Because when I posed the innocent question, “what foods do you miss most,” these go-getters sure didn’t hold back.

First, there was the tomato-less ketchup conundrum that, together, we solved.

If you missed this post, let me give you a quick summary: turns out, many kidney patients must not only watch their salt intake, but their potassium and phosphorous levels as well. And tomatoes turn out to be a major offender on all accounts.

So in order to help my friends at the BAAKP enjoy their burgers, sloppies, and meatloaf once again, we devised a devishly good alternative to traditional ketchup and made a kidney-safe version from peppers. Found here. Enjoyed on everything.

With that barrier broken down, I was pumped for my next challenge. And I didn’t have to wait long before the call came.

Edamame. That delicate soy bean snack that is so often covered in soy sauce and salt. On its own it is sodium-safe. But when prepared in the usual way, it is a salty overload.

So a fellow low-so eater (and BAAKP member) recently wrote to ask what one could pair with the savory green pearls that would keep the strong flavors but eliminate the salt. And I set to work immediately on two projects. One amazingly simple. One simply amazing.

So let’s start with the basic recipe.

First, grab a bag of frozen, shelled edamame. And remember to check the nutritional content just to make sure it has 0 to 10 mg per serving.

Then, prepare a bowl of ice cold water (ice+water+bowl+fridge = bowl of  ice cold water). And when that’s ready, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Give 2 cups of edamame beans a quick dunk in the pot only to immediately transfer them to that ice cold water bath. Drain the beans again and set aside.

Now the fun part. Let’s gussy up those edamames.

Heat about 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a pan and add thinly sliced garlic (I typically use about 5 large cloves) and finely diced ginger (I cut up about 1/2-inch nub of the peeled root). Let the garlic and ginger sizzle, crisp, and brown and after about 3 to 5 minutes, take them out of the pan and sprinkle them over the cool edamame with one more drizzle of sesame oil for good measure.

Now that alone will make some dazzling soy beans. But let’s say you want to bump it up one more notch.


Find some mushrooms (like shimeji, maitake, or enoki) and brown a billowing cup of them in another dollop of sesame oil in a frying pan. Five minutes over high heat will do the trick. Add them to your beans and serve.

Or add some thinly sliced yuba strips for some soy bean on soy bean action.

And I know what you’re thinking. If this was the simple stuff, what’s to come next?

You’ll just have to wait until Wednesday to find out. And in the meantime, grab yourself some edamame and get munching.

Chow on.

Grant Bennett July 11, 2011 at 7:59 am

You so ROCK Jess!

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