meatless monday | edamame cakes with soy drizzling sauce

I have September 17th marked on my calendar.  It’s the date we thought* reservations for State Bird Provisions, Bon Appétit’s 2012 Best New Restaurant, would open up for when we’ll be in San Francisco next month.

The restaurant’s namesake dish is California state bird with provisions (fried quail with pickled veggies), but there’s an entire section on the menu devoted to savory pancakes & we’ve heard that they. are. good.

So their menu must have been on our minds when we chose this savory pancake dish for our week hosting The Food Matters Project.  Welcome, everyone!

We’re not unfamiliar with the savory take on the usually sweet breakfast pancake, having made & fallen in love at first bite with this version from Yotem Ottoglenghi’s cookbook, Plenty.

Mark Bittman’s Food Matters version leans much more heavily on the veggies, as opposed to simply adding a lot of greens to a pretty standard batter, which proved to be a little tricky in getting the texture just right.

The first two pancakes ended up a crumbly mess, but adding more of the reserved edamame cooking liquid (a lot more than I thought we’d need) remedied the problem & the rest of the pancakes turned out beautifully, housing all the umami flavor of an Asian dumpling, but with a crisp exterior.  In fact, smaller pancakes would make a killer appetizer.

*Turns out, either State bird’s reservation policy has changed since the last time I looked, or I managed to mark down the wrong date & now the first available date for dinner is November the 7th.  ::sigh::  I guess we’ll take our chances as a walk-ins.  Fingers crossed we get a spot at the Chef’s counter.

serves 4

1/4 soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or sake
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar*
1 teaspoon garlic, minced, optional
1 teaspoon ginger, minced, optional
2 cups fresh or frozen edamame
1 egg
1/2 cup sliced scallions
whole wheat, brown rice, or all purpose flour, as needed
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

1. Heat oven to 200°.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, half the sesame oil, sugar & garlic & ginger if you’re using them, in a small bowl.

2.  Add the edamame to the boiling water & cook until tender, 5-10 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

3.  Transfer the beans to a food processor & pulse a couple of times to break them down, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, egg & scallions.  Process until combined, but not finely puréed; you want a thick batter with some texture that drops from a spoon.  If the mixture is too stiff, stir in a little of the reserved cooking liquid; if too wet, add a little flour.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper & stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

4.  Put a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.  When a few drops of water dance on its surface, add a thin film of oil.  Working in batches, spoon on the batter, making any size pancakes you like.  Cook until the top sets & the bottom is browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn & cook the other side for a couple minutes more.  Keep the finished griddle cakes in the warm oven while you finish the others.  Serve hot or at room temperature with the soy drizzling sauce.

*we ended up adding 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in addition

from The Food Matters Cookbook

Don’t forget to check in with the rest of the Food Matters Project participants to see what they did with this dish! 

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8 Responses to meatless monday | edamame cakes with soy drizzling sauce

  1. thanks for choosing this, we went with fresh chickpeas and they turned out lovely. we ended up with a much wetter batter and didn’t have to use the reserved water. either way, it still turned out fab.

    good luck being walk-ins at State Bird Provisions

  2. Aura Caplett says:

    Looks great! Mine turned out to be more like bean patties than pancakes…a little dry but adding the soy drizzling sauce remedied that! Enjoy your dinner at State Bird Provisions–sounds wonderful–hope you get in!

  3. Mmm… I’m making these tomorrow now!

  4. They’re tasty! Let us know what you think!

  5. Pingback: Scallops with Edamame Pancakes & Soy Drizzling Sauce

  6. Lexi says:

    Great choice! We loved these.

  7. Great choice this week – I really loved this one 🙂

  8. Evi says:

    I didn’t get a chance to make these last week, but they look amazing. Hoping to catch up on it since I do have all of the ingredients! Great pick, lots of colorful photos on everyone’s blogs! Have you tried the restaurant yet?

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