Pronounced: Máo dòu jiá.
This is a popular appetizer that...
a) I almost always bring to potlucks.
b) is super easy to make.
c) a great substitute for potato chips.
d) all of the above.
If you picked (d), then you WIN! Anything else and you FAIL (kidding).
Anyways, about this dish... it's, um, a bit...addicting because you can just keep munching and munching and munching...and munching...you get the point. :)So I made this the night before I returned to school to eat on the bus ride. Unfortunately, that didn't work out too well because I was crammed into a teensy space for seven hours and could not eat in peace. Eating should be done in a very pleasurable fashion, and the bus, my friends, was not very pleasurable at all. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the delicious snack when I got back to the city.
Here's what you need:
-1 bag of frozen Edamame (with shells intact)
-3-4 pieces of dried Chinese Star Anises (八角--Bā jiǎo)
In case you're wondering what a star anise is...it is a spice commonly used in Asian dishes (which you could've easily guessed). It's shaped like an eight-pointed star and that's why the Chinese call it 八角, or quite literally, eight angles. Star anises have a strong flavor and are discarded after cooking. You can look for them in your local Chinese market. If you can't find any, it's okay to omit it too.
1. Fill a pot halfway with water. Make sure that the amount of water you use will be able to cover the entire bag of edamame. Add the star anises and bring to boil.
2. Add edamame. Bring to boil again.
3. Mix salt and pepper in a separate small bowl. The ratio is up to your taste.
(I used about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. I'm not particularly concerned with my sodium intake, which is terrible, I know...but no one eats the shells anyways!)
4. Drain the edamames by using a colander or a strainer. Let cool.
5. Mix the salt/pepper mixture with the Edamame.
6. Discard the anises or use them as decorations, and serve!
Now wasn't that easy?
P.S. Been getting a lot of inquiries about this, so a little clarification is needed. Like pistachios, the shells are not meant to be eaten!