Since we were in rush to move to the new garden plot we weren’t able to wait for the fava beans that we planted back in November (in the old plot) to be completely ready. It takes a while for the pods to appear and then grow to a useful size. So we harvested what we could, mainly the pods growing at the bottom of plants. We were able to get a fair amount. Steven gave away some to his co-worker Ernestina. She’s my Facebook friend, so I know she sautéed them in butter, salt and garlic. Because the favas were super young you don’t need to remove the inner membrane that covers the flesh of the bean. I made some of ours exactly the same way except that I used olive oil instead of butter, added a bit of chili flakes and some cherry tomatoes for additional color. It made a great side dish.
I used the rest for this incredible fava bean tempura. I got the idea from this restaurant in town that, unfortunately, has closed now. I left the beans in the pods but since they’re very young you can treat them just like green beans. And just like them, when cooked, they’re very tender. The texture is a bit different. Fava bean pods have a white velvety layer inside that acts as a cushion for the actual bean: nature’s way of protecting the development of life? That spongy layer makes eating this tempura especially fun as when you bite into it, it almost feels like it will pop in your mouth.
Enjoy this as a side dish or snack. It matches very well with a cold beer or a crisp un-oaked white wine.
fava bean tempura
about 20 fava bean pods
1 cup plain four
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp mirin
Canola oil for frying
Remove the tips and the stringy part of the pods.
Whisk together flours, salt, black pepper, mirin and enough water for the consistency of a runny pancake batter.
Add canola oil to the pan and heat to medium high. Dip individual bean pods in batter and drop them carefully in hot oil. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels. Repeat with remainder. Sprinkle some extra salt over pods as they come out of the pan. Fried food is naughty good, don’t you think? Eat responsibly