On a recent trip to the island of Kauai in Hawaii, I was concerned about being able to order vegan options at local restaurants. While I was staying in a beautiful condo with a more than adequate kitchen, my husband insisted I take a vacation from cooking and we eat dinners out. Okay, if you insist sweetheart! With a bit of research, I was able to find wonderful places to eat every night.
One of the highlights of those dinners was discovering how Hawaiians prepare edamame. More of a revelation of the ultimate in umami taste and texture! Marinated and seasoned, they are as addictive as a bucket of movie theater popcorn. And just as finger licking messy good. Once you have Hawaiian style edamame there’s no going back to the boring old steamed version.
I was very excited to get back home and prepare these in my own kitchen. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find edamame in the shell. Not at any of 4 markets I tried including Trader Joe’s. For 2 weeks I searched the frozen food sections around town. I imagined them sitting on a dock somewhere melting in the hot LA afternoon sun.
I had just about given up on the recipe until I spied a gorgeous basket full of sugar snap peas at the Frecker Farms table at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market. In a nanosecond the gears started turning and I knew that I had solved or at least hoped I had solved my edamame dilemma. I would simply substitute sugar snap peas and see if that worked. The result was fantastic. This poke sauce would work well on lots of vegetables.
Now, using sugar snap peas is a bit more work ahead of time, as you have to wash, thoroughly dry and then peel the string. Also, there isn’t the finger food aspect of eating the snap peas, well, unless you wanted to eat them with your fingers. Other than that the preparation is somewhat similar.
And of course, I just found a freezer full of edamame at Trader Joe’s. Well, now I have more than one choice when I want to make this yummy snack food.
Please note that Hawaiian sea salts make wonderful finishing salts. (Feel free to substitute Himalayan pink salt.) You want salt that is a larger crystal for the bit of crunch. The pepper varieties are yummy as well. I highly recommend ordering online.
Sugar Snap Peas Poke Style
1 ½ lbs. sugar snap peas
2 tsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
4 T low sodium soy sauce
1 T water
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic minced
Hawaiian pepper blend, black pepper or crushed red pepper
1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 T toasted sesame seeds
Hawaiian sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water garlic and pepper of choice to taste, until combined. Whisk in the toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. Set aside for flavors to develop.
Wash and thoroughly dry the sugar snap peas. Snap off the stem and pull the long string out. Heat the 2 tsp grapeseed oil in a large nonstick pan. Add the snap peas and cook about 2-3 minutes until just al dente. Don’t overcook! Immediately remove from heat to a large mixing bowl. Toss with the marinade. You can serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold for another time. They keep in the fridge for several days.
When ready to serve, either warm or cold, plate to a serving dish and top all over with a sprinkling of Hawaiian salt.