Monday, 14 December 2009

udon w edamame & almond pesto

It’s the last Weekend Herb Blogging event for the year, so I’ll end it with a new ingredient I’ve never used before and a recipe that will be my last 2009 Food Challenge post (I didn’t complete many in 09!).

Ever since seeing this post on the Scent of Green Bananas, over 4 years ago, I have yearned to make my own delicious edamame pesto using Japanese influences.

I used Santos’ photo for inspiration and, while mine certainly doesn’t look as pretty as Santos’ herb heavy noodles, it turned out to be one of the most delicious sauces I’ve ever made.

It’s flavours of almonds, herbs, garlic, ginger and lemon are probably best suited to summer, but I could eat the mixture with a spoon any time of the year.

Udon w Edamame & Almond Pesto
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 3.
270g organic udon noodles
1½ cups cooked + peeled edamame (soya beans)
¼ cup sunflower oil
¼ cup toasted flaked almonds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons each of shredded coriander, parsley, mint & shiso
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1. Boil udon noodles as per manufacturer’s instructions.
2. While noodles are cooking, combine all other ingredients in a food processor and blend into a fine paste, adding oils last.
3. When noodles are finished cooking, drain then return to the hot cooking pot and add pesto. Stir it around and let the heat from the pot melt the pesto through the noodles.
4. Serve warm in bowls and eat with chopsticks.

Edamame are soya beans in their shells, eaten in Japan as beer snacks. And they are perfect for this job, boiled or steamed and tossed in salt, then popped from their shells straight into hungry mouths. Too good to believe they’re damn healthy too.

Soya beans are an amazing source of protein without the saturated fats of animal proteins in fact "just one cup of soybeans provides 57.2% of the daily value for protein for less than 300 calories and only 2.2 grams of saturated fat.”

Soya beans have very good levels of manganese and protein and good levels of iron, omega 3 fatty acids, phosphorus, dietary fibre, vitamin K, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and potassium.

Better still, Wikipedia says the soya bean is “the most widely grown and utilised legume in the world”.

But the elusive shiso is the magic herb of interest here.

Also known as perilla, shiso leaves are elegant leafy herbs and a member of the Lamiaceae family (with mint).

According to Wikipedia, “it is considered rich in minerals and vitamins, has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help preserve and sterilize other foods.”

The flavour is pretty intense, with an aniseed/mintiness.

In Japan it’s served alongside sashimi, in India it’s shredded with chilli and tomatoes into a dip, in China it’s used in traditional medicine to boost immunity, in Vietnam it often accompanies bún (rice vermicelli salads) and in Korea it masks the strong smell of dog meat dishes.

But this delicious shiso/perilla meal is vegetarian, so your puppies won’t need to fear.

Our WHB host for the last time this year is our WHB organiser, Haalo, from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, an Aussie blog that is full of inspirational recipes.

So, as I usually do at the end of every year, here’s my WHB theme ingredients for the past 12 months:
kiwi - kiwifruit & lemongrass slushie
tomatillos - chilaquiles & salsa verde
capers - smoked trout & warm potato salad
corn - esquite (Mexican corn snack)
eggplant - eggplant parmigiana
preserved lemon - Morrocan chicken tagine
blackberries - blackberry & oatmeal breakfast cake
hominy - pozole verde (Mexican tomatillo & hominy stew)
sage - scallops w lentils, pancetta & sage
scallions - feta, sumac & herb salad
persimmon - persimmon & bourbon bread
lemon thyme - roast pork fillet w cider & pistachios
tangelo - tangelo delicious pudding
peanuts - peanut butter pie w roasted banana ice cream
cavolo nero - milk-braised pork w cavolo nero
palm hearts - palms hearts w parsley
sage - apple, walnut & blue cheese flaugnarde
cherries - duck w cherries
mâche - mâche w chive & mustard dressing
dates - sticky date pudding
thyme - basque oxtail stew
potato - rösti
plums - kentish pigeons w plums
broccoli - broccoli & stilton soup
avocado - salpicón de camarónes (Mexican prawn cocktail)
rice paddy herb - bò tái chanh (Vietnamese lemon-cured sirloin)
parsley - braciole napoletana (Italian stuffed veal)
shiso - udon w edamame & almond pesto


1 comment:

Thanks for saying hello. It's great to know there are people out there in cyberspace!

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