Broad beans are coming thick and fast in my spring garden. Conveniently they make an excellent addition to sushi bowls for this easy weeknight dinner, being a close relation to Japanese edamame beans.
I know broad beans aren’t a favourite for everyone, but I feel the humble bean is rather underrated. They are incredibly easy to grow, and one of the first round of seeds I plant once I clear the last of the autumn crops from the garden beds after a summer of heavy feeders.
Broad bean plants – being a legume – fix nitrogen into the soil, with the added bonus of being edible food. Not only are the podded beans edible but also the tender tips and young leaves can be added to salad or sauteed like spinach.
When harvesting broad beans I prefer to pick them on the younger side, before the pods have a shiny appearance. At this stage they are sweeter and the beans generally don't need to be peeled before serving.
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons cornflour
400g salmon fillets, cut into 3cm slices
1 cup podded fresh or frozen broad beans
About 2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice (see directions below)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Microgreens or alfalfa sprouts for garnish
- Preheat the oven grill to 200°C.
- Combine the soy sauce, vinegar and honey in a small jug – this sauce is for serving along with the bowls.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of the sauce into a bowl and mix in the cornflour. Arrange the salmon pieces on a lined baking tray and brush generously with the cornflour marinade. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for five minutes. Turn the salmon, brush with extra marinade and cook for a further five minutes.
- Meanwhile, blanch the broad beans in boiling water for three minutes for fresh and five minutes for frozen. Drain and refresh in cold water. Peel away the tough skins if needed.
- Prepare the sushi bowls – scoop brown rice into each bowl, top with salmon pieces, add slices of avocado, and scatter over the broad beans. Garnish with microgreens or sprouts and serve with the sauce on the side.
PERFECT BROWN RICE
White sushi rice can be used for these bowls but I often use pre-cooked brown rice as it is more nutritious. However, because of its higher fibre content brown rice needs a little assistance to make it easier to chew and digest. The pre-soaking also speeds up the final cooking time.
Preparation time: 5 minutes + soaking time
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
1 cup medium grain brown rice
2 cups boiling water plus extra for soaking
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter (optional)
At least two hours before cooking, measure the rice into a bowl and pour over boiling water to cover by two centimetres. Cover and set aside to soak. The shock of the boiling water softens the outer fibre layer, preparing the rice for cooking.
To cook, drain and rinse the rice in a sieve. Place rice into a medium saucepan and cover with two cups of boiling water. Add the salt and butter, if using, and cover with a well-fitting lid. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. During this time do not stir the rice and avoid lifting the lid as much as possible – a glass-lidded pan can be handy here.
The rice is ready once there are “tunnels” on the surface – this means the water has been mostly absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
*Recipe first published 24 October on Stuff.co.nz.