We all have standards.
In-n-Out, favorite local pizza place, best cup of coffee ever, most enjoyable Pinot Noir... I could go on.
We'll dabble, try new things, play along with someone else's favorite- but let's be honest: it doesn't compare to your standard.
It's how we feel about Sushi. I can enjoy a mid-night sushi bar just like anyone else, but it's always a "B" compared to Mikuni, a small Sacramento chain that will soon sweep the nation. They just opened a new location in Vegas (aspiring dining city). See? I'm not just making this up! Even Vegas wants them!
We love their sushi, but we also love their "Freaky Edamame." It's a perfectly spiced appetizer to wet your palate for a few sushi rolls. I've been resorting to their "non-raw" rolls since the baby news, but it's been good to try new things. Good thing edamame is not forbidden for pregnancy. I could eat these little green guys by the handful.
Last time I ordered them, I thought to myself "seriously... I could make this."
After a little research, I was tipped off to the secret ingredient: Japanese Seven Spice. This is NOT the Chinese Five Spice... totally different animal.
I thought I would be able to produce the ingredients in this mixture to come up with something close, but sure enough it contained spices definitely outside of my spice collection.
No one carried Japanese Seven Spice (also known as Shichimi Togarashi) on their typical grocery aisles. So I ventured, for the first time, into our local Asian market. Albeit out of my element, I found myself wanting to try so many other spices and sauces lining the shelves.
Helpful hint: if you're a white girl like myself, don't go in there trying to find what you're looking for on your own (most of what you're looking for won't be in English). Find help- they are more than willing to introduce you to their abundance of cuisine and are usually happy that you are expanding your palate from your typical American ways.
So with a little mixing and tasting, I think I found a pretty darn good home version of Mikuni's Freaky Edamame. And yes, they are freaky good and freaky easy!
2-3 cups edamame (I used frozen, they thaw quickly)
1 tsp sea salt (you'll want that crunch)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp Japanese Seven Spice
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Mix your seasonings in a bowl. Taste with finger. Adjust to your liking. The seven spice includes: red pepper, roasted orange peel, black sesame seed, yellow sesame seed, Japanese pepper, sea weed and ginger. WOW, the Japanese can pack a punch!
In a large pan heat your oil to medium high. Toss your Edamame in there for a few minutes, till just heated through.
Then off the heat, sprinkle in your spices. Kind of like seasoned fries.
Serve hot or room temperature.
Easy appetizer. I started my guests with these before we enjoyed some home-made Pho (Asian Chicken Noodle Soup coming soon).
Go ahead, get freaky with your edamame! Thank you Mikuni for the inspiration!