Another great recipe from Big Vegan, this time a black soybean salad with dulse and carrots.
Dulse is a sea vegetable, some might call it a “seaweed.” It has an aroma of the sea, which I find pleasing. In this case, it was packaged in flakes which are then soaked and then squeezed before use. According to wikipedia (1), it’s rich in vitamins, protein, and other elements. It is said to be commonly used in Northern Atlantic regions such as Ireland and the Northeastern USA. Sea vegetables are a key part of a macrobiotic diet, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. More than you ever wanted to know about sea vegetables is available on the Whole Foods website.
Below: Dulse flakes.
I wasn’t sure what I’d get from the black soybeans. The beans looked very similar to black beans, which are common in Latin style cooking. They did not taste like typical black beans, though. They’re not quite as tender as typical black beans and not as tasty. I think this is why you don’t hear about people eating soybeans with their rice very often, and why dishes like refried beans and baked beans don’t use soybeans.
The texture resembled moist chalkiness and I found that soy has a much higher content of calcium than black beans. Soy also has twice as much protein and way more fat than black beans. Conversely, black beans are much higher in carbohydrates than soybeans. Both are incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals.
A julienne cut is a long rectangular shape 6 cm (2.5 in) long with a width and height of about 3 mm (1/8 in). My julienning technique for carrots needs work. I can matchstick an apple like nobody’s business – carrots are another matter.
Below: What a colorful collection of plant foods! Soybeans, water chestnuts, scallions, and carrots.
Below: Apricot jam from France. Bonne Maman has been on the market for over 10 years, and I have actually seen it for sale in France, so I suppose it’s legit.
Below: White miso, followed by red miso in the next photo. Miso is fermented soybean paste. It smells like soy sauce and is somewhat salty.
Below: A beautiful collection of flavors and aromas! Ginger, red miso, white miso, mirin, rice vinegar, and apricot jam. Wow!
Below: The salad had a terrific combination of flavors. Crunchy carrots, snappy water chestnuts, slightly salty-sweet dressing, a hint of sea flavor, the fresh brace of ginger, and the tender starchy beans. The combination of textures, flavors, colors and healthful ingredients puts this recipe right in the sweet spot of culinary art. A great recipe from a great book.