I have my highs, I have my lows, the inbetweens, they’re quite drastic. Sometimes I get super excited about something, the next second I will lose all interest in it.
Such is the case with edamame, or soybeans.
The beginning of the summer was beautiful: fresh baby soybeans in the market, with the fuzzies still on the pod, bruise free, and a strong vegetal aroma that rises with the steam when you’re blanching the suckers: it’s love.
Then the fresh ones are gone because of the short season (much like the fava beans – omg, don’t even get me started on those), and you have to resort to frozen ones. Not that there’s anything wrong with the frozen ones, oh no, they’re perfectly fine, just not perfect. And you can’t quite forget about the freshness that you fell in love with, so you cope with the frozen bags. Heck, you buy many bags of frozen edamame, thinking that that’ll do the trick.
Nope. Nuh-uh. No.
So, the last resort. You’re gonna try something different – say, make dessert out of this bland thing that would normally be throw into wok-hey hell with fried rice. Which is what I did.
Zunda Mochi is a regional dessert from Sendai, Japan.
In Japan, prefectures are broken up like states are in the US, and some prefectures are more proud of themselves than others (kinda like… a Texan VS a Oregonian. Or so I think.). They market everything that’s regional as “gotouchi” or a “this area” item, and market it vigorously. Other examples gotouchi snacks would be Hiroshima/Osaka and okonomiyaki, Okinawa and saataa-andagi (donuts), or Nagasaki and castella cakes. Sendai is not as gaudy as the other prefectures, but they take their baby, the Zunda mochi seriously. You can find some variation of it at any gift shop/train station kiosk.
Zunda mochi are basically rice balls (mochi), served with a sauce of sweetened mashed edamame. Simple sweet at first, with a little hit of umami at the back-side of your tongue. Very rustic looking, no? (It also kinda looks like slimer from Ghostbusters.)
Some of you are probably weirded out by the concept of sweet edamame. Don’t worry, it’s fiiiiine! The Japanese are masters of the sweet-and-savory arts (HULLO, have you ever tried a mitarashi-dango before? HEAVEN!). You use a lot of edamame per person, so it’s a great way to get rid of those frozen edamame – but it also makes you yearn more for the fresh ones. GAWD, these must be good with fresh edamame. Oye vey. Next summer, yes?
Zunda Mochi – serves 2
1 cup defrosted frozen edamame
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 pinch sea salt
Puree everything in a food processer until to desired pastiness. I kinda like to leave chunks cause they’re more fun that way.
Mochi/Dango (rice balls)
Use your favorite dango powder!
There’s mochi flour, shiratama flour, domyoji flour… Check out Just Hungry’s dango recipe
if you’re clueless. Heck, you can even use cut-mochi left overs from New Years. Just give it a quick boil until soft.
When your dango’s done, it’s best to let it chill for 15-30 minutes in the fridge before tossing it with the zunda sauce and nomming. Serve with some dark roasted green tea.
Pretty easy right? Wait till you get to the eating part, that’s even easier.
So, um, I blog for work too. It’s called TEAcipes
and it’s part recipe blog (made with or for teas), part PR blog, part Japanese tea education site. Right now we’re focusing heavily on Japanese greens because that’s all we’ve got, but we’ll eventually expand into other teas like Rooibos and Chinese teas! Be a friend and check it out, will ya? xoxo, ila