When I was young my mom and I would travel to Hong Kong every year to visit relatives. And my uncle was the one in charge of the kitchen. But sometimes when he didn’t feel like cooking he just asks one of my cousins to buy some street food (When you are in Asia, you eat street food, period.). That was mostly roasted duck, char siew and chicken with some kind of magic dip sauce. Made from nothing more than minced ginger, minced onion or scallion, salt and then hot (really hot) oil is poured over it to release flavors and to ‘cook’ the ingredients.
My cousin and I would fight over that little pack of dip that came with the chicken. It was salty, little spicy, super simple and overall, mouthwateringly good! When we didn’t like the rest of the dishes we just dumped a spoonful of that stuff over our rice and that’s it (and even add some soy sauce). And no I have not outgrown that habit. I’ve even loved to add it to my salads. As I was scrolling in my digital photo archive, I found a picture of a salad that I forgot about. (Thank god for my “I’m Asian and I take pictures of food” genes.)
It was a simple salad with broad beans (fava bean, faba bean, field bean, tic bean. He has al kind of names apparently) quinoa and leafy greens. This is what I call a perfect light salad with al different kind of textures. Soft, meaty, crunchy, fluffy. Add some of that magic concoction and you have a salad that would blow your socks off. To be honest, everything that gets involved with this dressing will do that.
This dish was originally made with edamame beans but I replaced them with regular broad beans because you don’t always have access to an Asian supermarket. Broad beans are available in your local supermarket. Mostly frozen but I’m down with that. Furthermore, broad beans won’t blow a giant hole in your budget.
Don’t be fooled by the green humble bean. It has numerous health benefits. Such as fiber, proteins and a great source of iron to support the immune system by functioning as an antioxidant and transporting oxygen throughout the whole body. They also provide the body good doses of zinc. Zinc is vital for growth and development of children and adults since enzymes are depended on it to fulfill their duties in the body. Remember that everybody is telling you eat your folate when you are pregnant? Well, here you go; These beans also contains a whooping amount of folate (also known as folic acid)! Essential for growth and development of new cells. It even helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord if taken early and during the pregnancy. Don’t think you don’t need it when you are not carrying a child. Everybody needs it to prevent anemia and to produce healthy red blood cells.
So, don’t be fooled.
Broad bean quinoa salad
1/2 cup quinoa
3 cups broad beans, frozen ones are fine
Handful of watercress or any other greens of choice washed
Pinch of salt and black pepper
For the dressing:
3 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp spring onion, minced
1/3 cup oil
pinch of salt
Heat some oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot add the garlic and the beans. Toss the beans around with a pinch of salt and pepper till there are warm from the in and outside.
In a small pan, cook 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 1/2 cup of water. Let it come to a boil and turn the heat down. Put the lid on it and let it sit until the quinoa soaked up all the water. Turn the heat off and let it cool down for 15 min.
Place the ginger, spring onion and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl. Heat the oil in a small saucepan till it is really hot. Throw in a tiny piece of ginger in the oil to check if it’s hot. When the oil is hot, pour it over the ginger onion mixture. Give it a good stir and let it cool down a bit
In a serve bowl place the quinoa, watercress, beans and the dressing. Toss well to combine. Serve with some warm toasted bread on the side.