Author Notes: On our last date night (thanks for babysitting, helenthenanny!), my husband and I had a few bar snacks at Swift's Attic, a very cool new restaurant in downtown Austin. By far our favorite was the blackened edamame pods served with salt and spicy pop rocks- we devoured them. Since I just so happened to have unflavored pop rocks on hand left over from my molecular gastronomy dinner party, I thought I'd take a stab at recreating this fun dish. If you don't feel like special ordering unflavored pop rocks, you could leave them out, or get really crazy and try using one of the flavored packs you can find in a gas station- maybe the Savage Sour Apple flavor? Or not! —arielleclementine
fresh green Thai chiles or serranos
cup canola oil
ounces fresh or defrosted edamame, in pods, dried with a kitchen towel
tablespoon smoked sea salt
tablespoon unflavored pop rocks
- Smash your green chiles with the butt of your chef's knife until they split apart in a few places. Give one a cautious taste and, depending on how spicy you like things, add two or three to a cast iron skillet along with the canola oil. Infuse the oil over low heat for 5 minutes or so, then remove the chiles.
- You've got two options for cooking the chiles: 1) If you've got a lit grill and a grilling basket, that's your best option. Toss the edamame pods with the chile oil and put them in the grilling basket. Cook, shaking your basket, over high heat until the pods are black and charred in spots. 2) If you don't feel like grilling, do as I did and keep the chile oil in the cast iron skillet, crank the heat to high, and add the edamame, using tongs to toss them a bit so they all get a coating of the chile oil. Keep cooking until the edamame is well-dappled with brown and crispy spots.
- Mix the smoked sea salt and unflavored pop rocks in a small bowl and serve on a platter with the charred edamame pods. To eat, dip each (pleasantly) charred, (pleasantly) oily pod into the salt mixture, use your teeth to pop out the beans, and enjoy!