Monday, July 16, 2012

Grilled fava beans 焼きそら豆

Fava beans or soramame 空豆 are in season. I found some nice fava beans in pods in a grocery store near us. Compared to our stand-by frozen fava beans, fresh ones are not as mushy and always taste much better. Only trick is when you are selecting the pods, press them between your fingers to make sure they are full. Sometimes you may come across a very large nice looking pod but inside is almost empty. When I posted fava beans before, we compared boiled and grilled (in a toaster oven) and said there was no difference but I wanted to try grilling on a charcoal fire. Since we were grilling some trout, this was a good chance to grill fava beans as an appetizer.

The first picture shows some very nice looking fava beans in pods (see below, left). I simply grilled them over the charcoal fire until the surface of the pods were charred (5-6 minutes) and then turned them over and grilled 2-3 minutes more. I had to let them cool down a bit before we could bust into the pods.

I served this with a small mound of Kosher salt on the side as a starter for the evening. Some people eat the skin of the beans but we are in the group of people who insist on removing the thin skin. Again, we did not taste the difference between "beans-removed-from-the-pods-and-boiled" vs. "beans-grilled-in-the-pods". But if you already have a charcoal fire for other reasons, this is a very simple and good way to cook fava beans. Also serving fava beans in charred pods is more spectacular than serving individual beans.

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