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miso broad beans

September 19, 2011

MORE GREEN THINGS!

It’s bordering on ridiculous, I know, that a girl who spends as much time as I do eating cake for breakfast would post not one, but two entirely vegetable based recipes on her blog in a row. But here it is and tell you what, I’m not even the slightest bit sorry for it.

Any why this sudden unrepentant urge to eat photosynthesised, cellulose based foods (ie: green vegetables) over those high in simple carbohydrates (ie: sugary treats)? Well it’s certainly not due to my sudden, somewhat inexplicable, urge to be fit (!) and exercise (!!) and even run places for no reason other than to get myself a medal. Not entirely anyway.

It’s actually more to do with the fact that (in amongst all of that getting about and being physically active business) I managed to extricate myself from the confines of my warm, cosy house and venture out into the wider world where greengrocers display their happy wares on trestle tables in a big ol’ shed, or in tiny shops sitting underneath mass marketed supermarket giants and only frequented by those in the know.

It’s where I found what seemed to be the last brussel sprouts of the season and, dressed in a rough and tumble mess of plastic, my very first unpodded, unprocessed, un-televised broad beans.

They were, I found out by way of frantic googling, on the cusp of maturity. Slightly spotted pods that split open with a twist to reveal velvet coated beds for the palest green beans (and the odd purple one). Curious, I popped one into an open mouth.

(Not mine, of course. I wasn’t quite game to try them raw. Not until someone else had anyway).

It tastes like… a bean?” he said.

A large bag full slowly became a small handful as I dutifully twisted, separated and plucked.

“Is that dinner?” he asked, a worried line crinkling his brow.

“Not entirely. It’s… a starter?” replied I, whilst mentally combing the pantry to see what else was on hand.

“Oh good.”

A dip in hot water and then into iced. Opaque white skins forming like the old blisters on my feet. Pierced with a fingernail, vivid green parcels squeezed out into a bowl.

And, as I did this, I remembered the giant tub of white miso in the fridge and a fuzzy evening with the Bean in an underground tavern in Kyoto where we sat and popped cold salty legumes into our mouths whilst sipping on umeshu. She made me eat the plum that sat at the bottom of our glass that night and I screwed up my face in shock at the first bite.

We ate the miso infused beans with congee that night for dinner (shitake, pork and ikan bilis stock base, if you were curious) as one of a multitude of side dishes.

Kimchi. Sesame oil coated bean sprouts. Five left over dumplings. A salted duck egg.

They were nice. Tasty even. I packed the leftovers for lunch the next day, thinking nothing of them amongst the dizzying number of flavours.

But oh! That next day! They took on a whole new flavour. Mellow. Salty. Savoury. Slightly bitter. Slightly sweet.

I wolfed down the congee so I could eat the beans one by one with my disposable wooden chopsticks then made another batch (this one a double) the next weekend to feed my family. They disappeared in a flash.

And so! More green things! Next time there will be cake.

miso broad beans

These are great served as an appetiser or side dish. Broad beans don’t have a particularly high yield, so buy many, many more pods than you’ll expect needing.

you will need:

a heck of a lot of broad beans (15-20)
2tbsp white miso paste
1tbsp water

how to do it:

1. Let’s deal with the broad bean situation first. Your are going to start with a whole heck of braod beans in their pods and just a meagre handful of actual beans by the time you’re done. Are you okay with that? Sure? Well then, if you’re sure then we’d best get at it.

2. Grab your sister / mother / father / guest and give them a bean pod. Twist it to break it in half then pry the two halves apart to reveal the five or six beans inside. Pop the beans in a bowl and the pods in a bag for compost. Marvel at the cottony soft houses the beans have been sitting and growing in. Then repeat with the rest of your broad bean pods.

3. Pop a pot of water on to boil. Dump all of your podded beans in the hot water for two minutes. Possibly a little less. once the timer beeps, drain them and rinse them under cold water until all the heat is gone from them. The other alternative is to pop them into a bowl of iced water.

4. Oh no! Your happy beans have gotten all white and funny looking! Don’t fret – that’s just the outer skin. Pierce the skin and pull it off like a piece of dead skin from an old blister. Gross analogy but the closest I could think of to what it looks like you’re going to be doing. Repeat until all the beans are done. Mourn how few beans you have for the effort you’ve put in so far.

5. Mix the miso paste and water in a small saucepan over low heat until you have a thick saucy mix. Turn off the heat, throw the beans in and toss to coat. You should have just enough sauce to coat each bean with a small pool at the bottom. Pop the lot into a bowl and refrigerate overnight for a delicious miso infused side dish the next day. Or night. If they last that long.


  • #1
    September 20th, 2011

    Wow! I love broadbeans, as kids we used to get them already shelled in big 1 kilo bags. Mum would cook them up and we would just eat them plain as a snack. I would have never thought of making them with miso, but the combination would surely work! Mmmm….

  • #2
    September 20th, 2011

    I love shelling beans.. it’s so relaxing!

  • #3
    September 20th, 2011

    Unblistered green beans – they’re so greeeeeen!

  • #4
    September 20th, 2011

    I love broad bean season, but I must admit I hate shelling them, but the effort and time is worth it.

  • #5
    September 20th, 2011

    I uh. Have to admit I’ve never eaten broad beans before. That said, this combination sounds amazing – it does sound like a weekend thing rather than a weekday thing for me what with all the shelling and stuff though.

  • #6
    September 21st, 2011

    lol will need everyone in the family to pop these beans out!

  • #7
    September 22nd, 2011

    What a great idea…I love miso on everything!

  • #8
    September 22nd, 2011

    Great idea. I love vegetables, and beans.

  • #9
    September 23rd, 2011

    You can cheat and buy the frozen ones! But you still need a lot of patience when dealing with broad beans because even with the frozen ones you still have to remove the outer skins.

Shez