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Edamame wa ii desu

December 8, 2013

E3Twig Bean is Good.

I had the good fortune to live in Tokyo when I was a teenager. In theory I lived with my parents, but for large portions of the summer of 1988 you could argue it wasn’t my primary residence. I had a brainless retail job at the Navy Exchange in the New Sanno hotel and when the day ended I would go out with friends and more often than not stay over at someone’s house because I lived out in the inaka (the sticks). For a week or so that summer I lucked into a place that was only a five minute walk from where I worked. My best friend in high school was Rob. Rob’s sister was house sitting for someone. Rob and I decided this was a great place to hang out and play cards before going out with the gang. Or just keep playing cards, sleep on the couch,  and get up the next morning with a five minute commute. The apartment was large by Tokyo standards, but we tried to limit the space we used so it was easy to erase our presence.

Which didn’t mean we kept out of the kitchen. One night Rob poured a bag full of green pods into a pot of boiling water. Boiled them for a few minutes and then doused them with salt. After he explained to me that you just eat the part inside the pod I decided this was a tasty snack. We quickly ate all of them, but neither one of us knew what they were called.  I assumed it was some sort of pea and never knew what I had eaten until many years later. Someone I was with ordered edamame as an appetizer at a Japanese restaurant. When the salted, green pods arrived at the table they probably had to listen to this same story about the first time I ever ate edamame.

Wednesday

We had ramen, gyoza, and steamed and salted edamame for dinner. You know, like we do every week.

Thursday

I added a very simple recipe of Crispy Edamame to our chicken patty sandwiches and carrot sticks. (It can’t all be risotto and hollandaise.) It was really easy and you can’t go wrong with slightly burnt Parmesan cheese. The kids both unwillingly tried these cheesy green beans, but Michael hates cheese (I know!) and Sarah politely ate a few more after her first bite. Kira and I took good portions, but we barely ate half of the plateful. Which all led me to discover that these are amazing heated up the next day. When I put them in the microwave for a minute they formed into one giant Parmesan/garlic/edamame ball. It did not suck.

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Crispy Garlic and Parmesan Edamame

That was it for the edamame this week. I didn’t cook any of the meals after Thursday because my wife and I whisked ourselves away to Lanesboro, MN to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had a truly memorable weekend, which included the food we ate. I blame Mike Olson, the chef at the Old Village Hall,  and Dave and Nancy Huisenga , our innkeepers at the Habberstad House, for making me miss my weight loss goal this week. If you are ever in Lanesboro, stay at the Habberstad House and have dinner at the Old Village Hall, you won’t regret it.

Moral of the story: Don’t let Rob’s sister house sit for you.

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