28 Feb2005

I left Fresh Field (see separate post on this provedore) with bags of produce. micro1The most unusual contents were two types of microgreens that are typically used as garnishes at pricier restaurants. Essentially just a few days beyond the sprout stage, these microgreens are tiny, flavorful and super cool. Considered all the rage by restauranteurs in the U.S. for a few years now, I have NEVER seen microgreens for sale in Manila until I ran across Edwin Sy at Fresh Field. He just started growing these and has recently introduced them to some of the top restaurants in the city… in fact, they appeared in a spread on steak a few days ago in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

What makes them interesting is not only their size (micro is apt), but the amount of flavor wallop they pack! The Arugula microgreens taste like adult arugula – sharp and peppery, but not as overwhelming. micro2The Garnet red microgreens have a hint of spinach taste but are very intensely red or burgundy in color. I used mine in experimental pizzas for flavor, not just garnish, and they were really, really good. Still in its infancy, and because they are so labor intensive to grow, the greens cost several thousand per kilo but you only need a few grams to garnish a plate or spread over a small pizza. Keep an eye out for these, I hope we see more and more of them in the months to come.

Also in my bag was extremely fresh and lively Mizuna. Mizuna (Brassica rapia) is a popular Japanese green (of Chinese origin way back when) micro3that is similar to mustard leaves. The specimen pictured here is enormous. Sold from the “micro” stage to this stage in other countries, the green has many uses from salads, to garnishes, and as part of traditional hot pots, sukiyaki and other casserole type dishes. I prefer smaller leaves for raw consumption (as in salads) but the larger leaves are great cooked. I also find the leaves useful as a spectacular garnish to a chopped tuna tartare that I make for special dinners…recipe in a future post. The leaves have a very interesting and intricate jaggedness to them.

Finally, my bags had edamame, or fresh green soybeans. Yum. micro4I learned to eat boiled green soybeans a decade ago in Japanese restaurants on the U.S. East Coast. They were often brought to the table with some good sea salt to munch on before your appetizers or meal arrived. Green soybeans are relatives of the more commonly grown yellow-black soybeans that are turned into tofu, soy sauce, etc. Green soybeans are raised specifically to be eaten right out of the pods – and are more buttery and flavorful than the yellow-black varieties. In the past, you could get these here frozen but lately more and more farmers are trying to raise this and how good is that for us, the consumers? At P30 for 100 grams of pods (they only bring the roots and stems to show you just how FRESH these are), they are a bargain. To prepare, wash well, bring water to a boil in a big pot, add salt to the water, and drop the pods in and cook for just 3-4 mintues. Drain the pods and put under cool running water to stop the cooking process. Serve at room temperature with some good sea salt. Do not eat these raw.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Irene says:

    where can i buy edamame in manila? btw, i like ur site. it’s very refreshing and informative! carlos celdran–the walking tour guide mentioned u in his email & i decided to check it out. i love it! =) keep up the good work!

    Apr 21, 2005 | 4:47 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    You can get fresh (still on stems with roots!) edamame from Fresh Fields at Market!Market! in Fort Bonifacio. You can buy flash frozen edamame at Japanese grocery stores.

    Apr 24, 2005 | 6:20 pm

     
  3. stella says:

    hi! you can get fresh microgreens from Dizon Farms, they fly theirs fresh from Bukidnon…and their Edamame is excellent…they supply Kai in greenbelt with edamame. I get my salad greens from them. You can reach them at 8384301 loc. 3611 look for Joy

    Apr 27, 2005 | 10:10 pm

     
  4. dhayL says:

    MM,
    Before i started eating edamame, my mom would always raved on how good and healthy they are for you. She never really told me how to eat them or anything, i just thought that because they look like green beans, you just basically popped them in your mouth, and YES i did witht he skin and all! oh boy it was nasty and hard, after that i said to myself, how can she enjoy something like that? After sometime, she then explained to me that “you we’re supposed to popped the skins out to reveal the actual pods”, duh! heheh i have no idea i tell you! After that first encounter i really enjoy them now!! we buy the frozen kinds, so this is really my first time seeing attached with the roots and the stems!

    May 10, 2007 | 3:49 am

     
 

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