Nigel Slater’s edamame bean fritter recipe [soy beans]

Edamame fritters, dipping sauce

Bean rissoles are stickier; trickier to roll. Dust your palms with flour to stop the mashed beans sticking. You can use boiled and skinned broad beans or crushed tinned haricot but I like the flavour and texture of edamame, which I buy frozen. Whichever beans you use, they will need seasoning with garlic – and herbs such as coriander and chives or, for haricot, finely chopped thyme.

In lieu of a sauce I make a sticky dip, glossy with honey and spiked with ginger and lime juice. The green patties are fried till they have a fragile, golden crust then plunged, hot from the pan, into the dip, as bright and shiny as lip gloss.

Most frozen edamame is already cooked, ready to beat to a cloud of green mash with olive oil or butter or to scatter in a salad of iced noodles, mint and coriander leaves and matchsticks of cucumber.

You could substitute new broad beans for the edamame, but be prepared to pod and skin a lot of beans in order to get 500g. Frozen beans are fine. Cook them in boiling, lightly salted water, then pop them from their pale, papery skins before mashing, seasoning and rolling them.
Serves 4

edamame 500g (podded weight)
parsley 30g
chives 25g
coriander 30g
garlic 3 cloves

For the dipping sauce:
honey 2 tbsp
soy sauce 2 tbsp
mirin 1 tbsp
rice vinegar 1 tbsp
grated ginger 1 tbsp
lime 1

groundnut or vegetable oil for shallow frying

Defrost the edamame. Bring a deep saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the edamame and cook for 15-20 minutes till tender, then drain in a colander. Remove the parsley leaves from their stalks. Roughly chop the chives. Peel the garlic. Transfer the edamame to a food processor, add the parsley leaves, the coriander leaves and stems, the chives and garlic and reduce to a thick purée.

Shape the mixture into 16 equally sized balls weighing roughly 40g each, flattening them slightly as you go. Place them on a tray and refrigerate.

Make the dipping sauce. Put the honey, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and grated ginger in a small saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Halve and squeeze the lime and stir the juice into the dipping sauce and set aside.

Warm a thin layer of groundnut or vegetable oil in a pan. Place the fritters in the hot oil and fry gently over a moderate heat, for about 4 or 5 minutes, until the undersides are toasted, then turn and cook the other side.

Serve hot, with the dipping sauce.


Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer