Edamame are a type of soybean. You can buy them frozen in the oriental supermarket.
Boil them in salted water with a little star anise powder or 1 dried star anise.
They are ready in about 8 minutes.
Drain, put them in a bowl and sprinkle with ground coarse sea salt.
You only eat the beans inside, not the pod. Scrape with your teeth the beans from the pod and throw the pod away.
This can be served as appetizer or as a side dish.
Shiitakes (mushrooms) in soy sauce
8 large shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried)
375 ml dashi
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp Sake
2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
If you use dried shiitake mushrooms, put them for 30 minutes in hot water and then drain well. Remove the stems.
Dashi is a Japanese stock available at Oriental supermarkets as a powder, you mix with boiling water. (see information on the pack).
Put 375 ml dashi in a saucepan together with mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. Put the pan on high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the shiitake mushrooms, bring everything to a boil, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated and you get a thick sauce. This may take from a half hour to an hour, depending on the quantity.
Serve the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl as part of several courses or with some rice as a snack.
2 tsp chopped dried pieces wakame (seaweed)
500g noodles fresh or dried
200 g firm tofu, cut into 1.5 cm
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1.5 l dashi
2 tbsp red miso
1 tbsp white miso (or 3 tablespoons of one sort of miso)
1 tbsp mirin
3 tsp Japanese soy sauce
Put the wakame in cold water for 5 minutes, or until it has absorbed enough moisture and is shiny but not mushy. Drain well and set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the noodles, stir them loose with chopsticks. Boil them according to the package. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Divide the noodles into 4 large heated bowls. Put the diced tofu and spring onion on top.
Meanwhile, bring the dashi to a boil and let simmer: use dried dashi powder mixed with water according to package instructions.
Stir in a bowl the red and white miso and 250 ml dashi together. Stir until smooth. Add it to the rest of the dashi in the pan and stir. Bring to the boil and add mirin, soy sauce and wakame and cook for 1 minute. Stir briefly and pour the soup into the bowls of noodles and serve immediately.