Last year it was brought to my attention that you can fry dandelion flowers. As much as I am not a fan of dandelion, due to its bitterness, I had this idea sitting in the back of my brain so I’d remember this spring. We chose to make this a low key weekend staying in both nights so Saturday night we had a nice fry-fest. We had a ton of dandelions recently pop up in our yard this past week and since it’s a pesticide free area we used those. I picked them in the middle of the day and placed them in a cup of water until dinner. Only a few closed up and you can go ahead and fry those too.
Along with the flowers we decided to fry some eggplant and broccoli. I’ve made fried eggplant before and I find it by far one to be the best vegetable to fry. Well that and sweet potato. So we made our weekly grocery run and while in Whole Foods we were introduced to sea beans. These little yummies taste like the ocean! Seriously, straight salty ocean goodness. We’ve never had anything close in taste to these so we figured why not fry them too. They grow along beaches and in mangroves nourished by seawater. They have a nice crisp texture and plenty of saltiness to flavor your dish. We will definitely be buying more of these to add in salads or whatever else we can think of!
Adding to the fry-fest I made a quick batch of fried rice with edamame and egg and Josh made a simple dipping sauce. We definitely fried more than we should have but it was worth the fun! Of course we made a beer batter so they were light and fluffy! This took a few rounds in our cast iron dutch oven but as long as you place the finished veggies on a cake cooling rack they stay crispy until eaten. I would advise doing this on the counter, if you do it in a warm oven the batter loses its crisp.
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/2 cup frozen edamame
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 eggs, scrambled
- ginger, peeled and grated (I used a lot)
- In a large saucepan heat up a bit of oil and add the onion. Cook until soft. I used a nonstick pan, I find this cooks fried rice better as there is no sticking so you can use minimal oil and get a better crisp on each grain of rice.
- Add the rice and some tamari. Start small and continue to add more if needed while cooking. Mix well.
- Add edamame and cook until rice starts to brown and gets a bit crispy.
- Scoop the rice to the edges of the pan making a nice well in the middle. Add the egg and scramble in the well. Once fully cooked mix in with the rice.
- 1 eggplant
- sea beans
- broccoli florets
- dandelion flowers, cut at the base of the flower.. the less green the better
- 1 1/2 c spelt flour
- 1 1/2 c beer, we used a Japanese dry beer
- garlic powder
- white pepper
- Peel eggplant and slice into large cubes. Place in a colander and liberally cover with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile place flour, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a bowl.
- Once 30 minutes are up rinse eggplant well and dry with a towel.
- Heat oil up in a cast iron dutch oven.
- Add beer to flour and whisk well until incorporated.
- Once oil is hot add eggplant to batter, coat well, and place in oil one at a time. This prevents them from sticking. Do not overcrowd pot. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Place on cake cooling rack.
- Repeat with rest of eggplant, broccoli, sea beans, and dandelion flowers.
- hoisin sauce
- ume plum vinegar
- sesame seeds
- Garlic Gold nuggets
- Add a little of everything but the water in a small bowl. Taste test and add more of what you like until it tastes right. This is how you cook without measuring : ). The hoisin sauce is thick so thin out to desired consistency with water.