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Edamame and Sweet Rice Salad with Salty Seeds

May 30, 2013

In Cooking from Every Angle, we hear from our fearless leaders: Food52 co-founders Amanda & Merrill.

Today: Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern drop by the Food52 office kitchen to make a delicious rice salad with Amanda from their new book, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day.

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When I get hold of a new cookbook, I like to skim through it page by page until I find something I haven't seen before. There's a lot of new in Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, but the recipe that stopped me in my tracks was Edamame and Sweet Rice Salad with Salty Seeds. I need salty seeds in my life. And sweet rice salad. But what really got my brain spinning was that the rice and edamame are cooked in the microwave. Calling Barbara Kafka!

I love/hate/mostly hate my microwave, but I appreciate writers who have the guts to admit to cooking with theirs -- and I find clever uses of the microwave irrationally gratifying. I learned from Nigella Lawson to melt chocolate in the microwave, and from pastry chef Pichet Ong to make custards in it with quick snippets on high. And, now, I can use it to make sticky rice, thanks to our friends Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern, the authors of Gluten-Free Girl Every Day.

Gluten-Free Girl Every Day

Last week, Shauna and Danny came by our office to show me how to make the sweet rice salad. This is the kind of dish for which you'll want to measure out everything in advance. The prep is mostly measuring, with a tiny bit of slicing and smashing. No sighing! You'll thank me later when the recipe comes together in just a few minutes. See above -- now doesn't that look nice? All ready for mixing.

"I love sticky rice," Shauna told me, "But it's hard not to have it be a gloppy ball." That's why they started making it in the microwave. After soaking the rice for a bit, they cover it with cold water and put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes at a time, giving the rice a stir in between, and cooking it until it's fluffy and tender. If you need to add more water, you can, and if you've added too much, you can drain off a little. You're the rice's boss when you microwave.

Meanwhile we whisked together the sweet and tangy dressing, made with brown rice miso, maple syrup, plum vinegar, sesame seeds, and ginger.

Still, the main event was ahead. The inspiration for the salty seeds came from Shauna and Danny's friend, Christina Choi, the chef at Nettletown in Seattle, who passed away last year. "She had these salty seeds on every table," Shauna said. "They're addictive and you can put them in everything." And you will want to. They reminded me of a savory version of saunf, the Indian candied fennel, served at the end of a meal. Shauna and Danny make theirs by toasting pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cumin, coriander, and fennel in a sauté pan, and then, once the pan is off the heat, tossing the seeds and spices with salt. You might want to double the batch so you have leftovers for sprinkling on an open-face avocado sandwich.

Finally, Danny brought it all together for us, adding edamame to the sticky rice, pouring in some dressing, and showering the dish with the salty seeds. We ate the rice warm, but it's also good cooled to room temperature. You may notice that our version looks like a beet wandered through the rice. Our sticky rice contained some rogue red grains, which turned the whole dish purple -- and which, with the green edamame, no Instagram filter could improve. We devoured the dish anyway.



Edamame and Sweet Rice Salad with Salty Seeds

From Gluten-Free Girl Every Day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)

Serves 4

Sweet Rice Salad:

2 cups sticky rice
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
1/4 cup Miso-Maple-Ginger Dressing (Recipe Follows)

Miso-Maple-Ginger Dressing:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons umeboshi plum vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown rice miso
1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Kenzi Wilbur 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


First W. July 16, 2013
My kids are wild for this dish and have already requested it in their lunch for the first day of school. I recommend making double batches of dressing and seeds. They're great on everything!
Martha L. May 30, 2013
MarianBull, you did not just say that! lol
AntoniaJames May 30, 2013
Wow. I'll be eating this one all summer. That dressing looks amazing. Nice to see someone else using the Japanese plum vinegar. Trying to find someplace that sells it by the gallon. Guess I need to figure out how to make it. . . . ;o)
Marian B. May 30, 2013
This was so good. I need more salty seeds in my life.