Soy up your stir fry


YOUNG AND GREEN Edamame beans are young soybeans, before they get tough and hard.

Red Cabot

I grew up in the ’70s, when brown rice, lentils and hippie beans started to appear in our cupboards to jostle with our staple potato dishes and whatever Dev had Ireland eating in the ’50s and ’60s. Those foodstuffs never really shook their hairy-hippy image, though they might have been re-discovered as bearded hipsters and lithe yoga Goddesses.
Regardless of their image, we should take the time to get to know beans. There is literally a whole world of flavours, associated ingredients and combinations waiting to be discovered. Posh beans on toast, creamy broad beans, green beans with ham and cheese, fried edamame beans with chillies, green beans with garlic and almonds. While they will never threaten my marriage to the all-knowing, ever-giving potato, I do like to go out with them some nights.

Spicy tofu and edamame beans
Edamame are young soybeans, before they get tough and hard. You can get them fresh in the pods, like pea-pods, or buy them hulled already. This recipe plays with the soya connection by using another soya product, tofu, as well as soy sauce. For a meaty version, try edamame beans and salmon stir fry.

What you need
>  400g tofu, drained and cut into credit-card-sized rectangles, about 1cm thick
>  Groundnut oil
>  Soy sauce
>  Balsamic vinegar
>  1 tsp chilli flakes
>  1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
>  75g edamame beans, cooked
>  1 handful fresh coriander, chopped

What you do
Over a medium-high heat, fry the tofu in groundnut oil and a few tablespoons of soy sauce for about three minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the tofu is browned on one side. Turn and cook the tofu for another three minutes other side, adding another tablespoon of soy sauce, the chilli flakes and a dash of balsamic. Cook till reduced. Transfer the tofu to a plate and leave aside. In a new pan heat some groundnut oil and stir-fry the fresh chilli, add the beans, a dash of water and stir/steam cook for no longer than one minute. Season with light soy sauce and stir in the coriander. Simply plate up the cooked tofu stacked nicely, and pour the beans over to serve. Squeeze with lime if desired.

> Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.