Edamame are locally knows as hairy beans or 毛豆 mouh-dauh (means: hair and bean). Their name (in Japanese) means “beans on branches”. They are usually consumed as a snack, simply boiled or steamed in their pods in salted water (like you would do with fresh peanuts). Then just squeeze the beans out of the pods and enjoy them either warm or cold. They are also used in Chinese cuisine. I especially like a Shanghainese dish with green soybeans, bean curd leaf and (salted) preserved mustard cabbage.
Fresh edamame or hairy beans
Hairy beans with bean curd leaf and syut-choi
@ Wang Jia Sha 王家沙 (Wòhng-gâa-sâa in Cantonese)
If you know what my cooking style was before I developed an interest in food and subsequently started writing my blog you can guess that I had never cooked hairy beans before. Last week, after eating the Shanghainese dish I mentioned above, I decided to cook it myself at home.
The following day I went to Tai Po Hui to the stall where I knew I would find all the needed ingredients for my dish. This is the same place where I buy my bamboo shoots.
I bought one pack of hairy beans, HK$4 of preserved mustard cabbage or syut-choi 雪菜 (means: snow and vegetable), and 3 pieces of dried tofu (bean curd) to replace bean curd leaf (could not find it).
Hairy beans w/ preserved mustard cabbage, dried tofu and Chinese mushrooms
Suyt-choi: According to the vegetable seller syut-choi belongs to the Brassica family (cabbage). This veggie is quite tough and usually salted and used as a condiment. Another name for the pickle is 雪裡紅 syut-léuih-hùnhg (red-in-snow).
Syut-choi - preserved mustard cabbage
Bean curd leaf/skin: Bean curd leaf is called in Cantonese 百頁 baak-yihp (means: hundred and leaf/page). I love the special texture of the tagliatelle-like bean curd. You can feel the slightly impressed crosshatched pattern with your tongue.
- ~1 lb edamame / hairy beans
- Water (to boil the soy beans)
- 2 Tbsp coarse salt
- ~100 g preserved (salted) mustard cabbage (syut-choi)
- 2 pieces of dried tofu
- 4 dried Chinese mushrooms
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- ¼ cup water
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Soak the preserved mustard cabbage in water with salt for 2 hours. Rinse and drain. Cut into 1 cm pieces; parch in a hot frying pan over a low heat until dried.
In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add salt and edamame. Bring to a boil again and cook for 10-15 minutes. Drain and wait until the beans are cool enough to handle. Remove soybeans from their pods.
Wash the dried Chinese mushrooms and soak them in boiling water until tender (alternatively steam them). Cut the stems and shred the caps. Reserve the soaking water.
In a wok or frying pan add oil and sauté the garlic until fragrant.
Add the shredded mushrooms, preserved mustard cabbage, dried tofu and hairy beans; toss well.
Combine the mushroom soaking liquid with the seasoning ingredients. Add the liquid in the wok and stir well and simmer for ~5 minutes.
Transfer to a large plate. Serve hot.
Syut-choi is quite salty, therefore, there is no need to add any salt or soya sauce. The preserved vegetable can be cut into smaller pieces.
I love the crisp-tender texture and the fresh and sweet taste of hairy beans.
I will for sure make this very easy and healthy* dish again!
* Yes, hairy beans are said to be high in protein.