Friday, September 30, 2011

Moo Shu Vegetable Wraps

I call this the Chinese answer to soft tacos. This dish originated as Moo Shu pork wrapped in Moo Shu pancakes smeared with a little hoisin sauce (Chinese bar-b-cue sauce). The pancakes are steamed, thin and white tortilla like wrappers made with flour. This is a vegetarian version of the same which uses flour tortillas instead of the pancakes. I add egg omelets as a topping to increase the protein content of the dish. If you don't eat eggs, you could definitely skip them and add tofu strips instead along with the vegetables while stir frying.

The wraps are very tasty and are quick to make except for the time taken to chop the vegetables, which is common to all Chinese vegetarian dishes. The key to making a good stir fry is to cut the vegetables evenly. I find the Borner mandoline a really compact kitchen tool to slice, grate and julienne vegetables. If you have one these gadgets, then making the filling will be a breeze since the vegetables take almost no time to cook. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I have use flour tortillas as wraps, but if you have a Chinese grocery nearby you could get these wraps there or if you are feeling ambitious, you could try Emeril's recipe on food network moo shu wrappers.


Moo Shu Vegetable Wraps

1 small head of broccoli
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/8th inch slices on the diagonal
1 carrot, shredded or cut into matchsticks
1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks (slice them thinly first and then cut them into sticks)
6 large button mushrooms, chopped into sticks (as much as possible to be similar to the other vegetables)
1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 inch matchsticks
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 inch matchsticks
1 cup thinly sliced onion (red or white)
2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (this is what gives the stir fry its flavor)
2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped green chili (serrano or jalapeno)
2 tablespoons canola oil

For the eggs
3 extra large eggs
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 scallion, finely sliced for garnish
Hoisin sauce
Soft Taco size tortillas

  1. Separate the broccoli florets from the stems. Slice the florets into thin slices. Trim the stems and peel them. Slice them thinly and cut them into matchsticks.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat with 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add the onions, green chili and garlic and saute till the onion has a light brown color. Add the broccoli florets, stems, celery and carrots and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for 2 to3 minutes till the broccoli is crisp tender. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes till the mushrooms have softened. Finally add the bell peppers, five spice powder, rice wine, soy sauce and sugar and toss well. Cook for another two minutes till the wine has evaporated. Remove to a serving bowl.
  3. For the eggs, heat a 8 inch heavy bottomed non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1 teaspoon canola oil. Beat the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and sliced scallions. Divide the egg mixture into three and make three omelets. Slice the omelets and use as a topping for the wraps.
  4. To assemble, heat a tortilla on a griddle or a skillet for 1 minute. Place the tortilla on the plate and spread 1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce evenly all over. Fill the tortilla with 1/4 cup of the stir fried vegetables, topped with some omelet and chopped scallions. Roll and eat.
Yield: Makes enough filling for 12 soft taco size tortillas (8 inches in diameter)


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Okinawan sweet potato fries

Okinawan sweet potatoes look and taste like the white sweet potatoes, but are purple on the inside and when roasted they turn a dark pinkish purple. Since they are supposed to have originated in Japan, I decided to roast them with a Japanese spice blend, of chilies, orange peel, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. It is not spicy but has a great citrus accent because of the orange peel. Makes a great substitute for shoe string fries.

The Japanese eat the Okinawan sweet potato boiled or in tempura. There are some beautiful looking desserts made with it highlighting the gorgeous purple color. In the U.S., Melissa's produce grows these potatoes and they are available in many supermarkets all over.


Raw Okinawan Sweet Potato

Roasted Okinawan Sweet Potato

1lb Okinawan sweet potato
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Japanese chili pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into sticks of 1/4 inch thickness and about 2 inches in length. 
  3. Toss the potatoes with canola oil, salt and the chili pepper and lay it out in a single layer in a baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway. The potatoes should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Overcooking can make them too crisp and hard to eat.
Serves 3- 4

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baked Fusili with broccoli and portobello mushrooms

Baked pasta with bechamel sauce and cheese is very homey and satisfying on a cool night. Loaded with veggies and whole wheat pasta you could even justify that it is good for you. This baked dish has crisp broccoli and sauteed portobello mushrooms with leeks. Leeks give a mild onion flavor and the portobello mushrooms are meaty and pair well with whole wheat pasta which is hearty. As an aside, did you know that one of the theories on how portobello mushrooms got their name is from Northern Italy where portobello mushrooms are called "cappellone" which means "big hat".


Baked Fusili with Broccoli and Portobello Mushrooms
2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 leek, white and light green parts only - finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cups broccoli florets, cut into two if they are large
3 cups whole wheat fusili (Any whole wheat short cut pasta will work)
2 cups Bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
1.5 oz sharp cheddar, grated
1.5 oz gruyere, grated
3 oz shredded mozzarella

Equipment: A 8 inch square glass or porcelain baking dish

  1. Heat a large saute pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes until the leeks have softened. Add the sliced portobello mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for about 5 minutes till the mushrooms are brown and soft. Remove to the baking dish.
  2. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the baking dish. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as per the instructions on the box. The pasta needs to cook all the way through since the baking process is just to heat all the components and melt the cheese. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the baking dish along with the sauteed mushrooms and broccoli.
  3. Mix with 2 cups of the bechamel sauce and top with the grated cheese mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. By now the cheese would have melted. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 12 minutes to brown the cheese just so slightly. Serve immediately, otherwise the cheese will harden.
Serves 3.

Note: great with the roasted cippolini onions.


Bechamel Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cup 2% milk or whole milk
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  1. Mel the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Once the butter has melted but not brown, add the flour and cook over medium heat, whisking for 4 to 5 minutes till the mixture turns a golden sandy color. Add the milk slowly, over low heat, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
Yield: 2 cups

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cippolini onions agrodolce

Cippolini onions are round and flat Italian onions with thin papery skins, which are available in fall. They are about one to two inches in diameter and are great roasted or braised. I prefer to roast them since they get a nice caramelized exterior and a sweet and soft interior.

The onions are roasted dressed in a sweet and sour combination of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar which gives them the name agrodolce (sweet and sour in Italian). They taste great with cheese or as a side with meats. The sweet and sour flavor pairs well with rich foods.

A typical recipe for agrodolce onions calls for a lot more oil and a lot more vinegar, but I like these proportions as they create a nice crust without becoming too sour and greasy.

Cippolini onions agrodolce

15 cippolini onions about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter (best to use the same size onions, so that they cook evenly)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
10 sprigs thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Soak the onions in hot water for 5 minutes. This step helps to loosen their papery skins and makes it easier to peel. Drain the water and peel the onions and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper. Toss the onions with the dressing and lay them out on a baking sheet with the thyme sprigs.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes and flip them to caramelize the other side. Once again flip them after another 15 minutes. Cook them for a further 10 to 15 minutes till they are soft when pierced with a paring knife.
  5. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 3.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pasta with purple potatoes

Purple potatoes - they are absolute beauties and believe it or not are rich in antioxidants which comes from  their purple color. Otherwise they are like russet potatoes in texture - roasted they get a crisp exterior and a crumbly soft interior. They are great simply roasted with olive oil and rosemary, but we like to add potatoes to our pasta.
Pasta with pesto, beans and potatoes is a fairly common combination, but this one is better than most, since the potatoes are roasted instead of being boiled. Roasting enhances the flavor of the potatoes and the crisp crust from roasting adds another texture to the dish.


Penne with beans, purple potatoes and pesto

12 oz purple potatoes (you could use other potatoes, but it wont be so beautiful)
12 oz green beans or haricot vert
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups mezze penne (any short cut pasta will work for this recipe)
4 tablespoon basil pesto (The recipe yields 1 cup - freeze the rest). Store bought works, but not the ones from the bottle
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the table

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place a baking sheet in the middle rack for preheating as well.
  2. In the meantime scrub the potatoes clean with a vegetable brush and remove the eyes with a peeler. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and toss them with olive oil, 2/3 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Once the oven has reached the right temperature, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. They should sizzle as you place them, otherwise the baking sheet is not enough. Preheating the baking sheet prevents the potatoes from sticking. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes turning once during roasting. Remove and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for blanching the beans and boiling the pasta.
  4. Trim the beans and cut them into 2 inch pieces. Add them to the salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl large enough the toss the pasta.
  5. Bring the water to a boil once again and add the penne. Cook as per package instruction about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and add to the bowl containing the beans. Add the pesto and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well to combine. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Finally add the roasted potatoes and toss lightly. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 3.

I serve this with a salad. You could try the Endive and apple salad with goat cheese.

Note: If you liked this recipe, you may like to try lemon pappardelle with pesto, potatoes and peas

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Egg sandwich with Harissa


Once again I have had to think of things to make for lunching alone since my daughter went back to school a week back. Most of the time I end up eating leftovers, since it is too bothersome to cook for one person. Last night we had a salad with avocado and there was half left which had to be consumed otherwise it would go brown. Egg sandwich with avocado seemed like a nice thing to eat with additional condiments to break the creaminess of both of those ingredients.

I am not much of a mayonnaise or sour cream kind of person and try to avoid it as much as I can by substituting greek yogurt, but yogurt and eggs didn't seem very appetizing. So, I came up with this combination with avocado, tomato, onion and harissa. Instead of the mayo or butter I used avocado paste on one slice of bread, topped it with the boiled egg slices, sliced tomato and sliced onions and smeared some harissa on the other slice. Made for a real good lunch with very little fuss.

If you haven't been introduced to harissa, it is a North African condiment, which is used in stews and to flavor couscous. Outside of Tunisia it is used in pasta, sandwiches, and even as a rub. There are many versions of harissa -  I like the version which is spicy and does not contain bell peppers. If you cannot get harissa, you could make your own - one version is here.

The picture that you see here was taken in a hurry since there was a cable guy coming to fix the television, and I did not have the time to slice the egg and lay it out neatly before taking the picture.

One more thing goes towards making a good egg sandwich and that is the method used for boiling the egg. My entire childhood went hating boiled eggs, since my mom overcooked the eggs and they had a grey coating on the yolk and the awful sulfurous smell. I have come a long way since. The best way to get a hard boiled egg without under or over cooking, I have found is to place the egg in a saucepan just large enough to hold the egg(s) covered with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Set the timer to 10 minutes for a large/extra large egg and 8 minutes for a medium egg. Remove the egg from the hot water and give it a few cracks and then soak them in chilled water till you are ready to use. The cracking allows the shell to loosen up and makes it easier to peel.


Finally for the recipe:

Egg sandwich with Harissa


















Fillers for the egg sandwich

1 hard boiled egg (For method look above)
1/2 avocado
1/4 vine ripened tomato thinly sliced, seeds removed
1/8 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 teaspoon harissa (use less if the harissa is too spicy)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 large slices country bread, lightly toasted

  1. Peel the hard boiled egg, cut into half and thinly slice vertically. 
  2. Cut the avocado into thin vertical slices and drizzle the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent it from browning while you prepare the sandwich
  3. Lay out the toasted bread on a cutting board and cover one half with the harissa. Then layer it with half of the avocado slices, tomato, onion and half the egg slices. Sprinkle the sea salt over the eggs. On the second toast, mash the remaining avocado slices to form a paste. Cover the sandwich with the second slice of bread. Press down and cut into half and serve with some potato chips.
Makes 1 sandwich

You might also like:
Sweetcorn and Pesto panini
Mushroom and Spinach panini

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zucchini blossom frittata

Zucchini blossoms are my find for this summer and as the summer comes to an end, I found them again at Fresh Direct (If u live in the tri-state area) - hence this frittata recipe which "showcases" the blossoms beautifully.  I used leeks for their mild onion taste so that the delicate flavor of the zucchini blossoms are not overpowered.


Zucchini blossom frittata
Zucchini Blossom frittata



































Equipment: 10 inch heavy bottomed skillet with a tight fitting lid.


8 zucchini blossoms
3 large organic eggs
3 tablespoon low fat milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup finely chopped leeks (white parts only)
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese


  1. Remove the pistils from the blossoms and slice them across into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat the skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook over medium heat till the leeks have softened - they should not burn and turn brown. 
  3. In the meantime, beat the eggs with milk, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Once the leeks are cooked, remove from the pan and add it to the beaten eggs. Mix well.
  4. Place the same pan over medium heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. When the pan is hot, pour in the leek and egg mixture stir with a rubber spatula for 3 to 4 minutes till the eggs are almost set. Then spread the grated cheeses and the zucchini blossoms evenly over the eggs and cover the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat till the cheese melts.
  5. Slide onto a cutting board. Let it rest for a couple of minute and then cut into wedges and serve.
Serves 2.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Endive and apple salad

During the summer, as we were getting hit by hurricane Irene on the east coast, we had been to Vermont and the food there was organic, fresh and absolutely delicious. In a little town called Quechee we chanced upon a lovely restaurant attached to the Simon Pearce  glass factory. It overlooks the falls and its menus are inspired by the ingredients from the local community farms. There I had a salad of grilled endives, grilled radicchio and grilled sweet onions, dressed with a sweet balsamic vinegar and to make it super interesting for the "not so veg" in me, it was topped with grilled tiger prawns as well. My vegetarian family couldn't eat it - ergo I created this recipe for them to enjoy the taste of grilled endives.

I grill the endive and pair it with apples, and pecans. The best kind of apples to pair with endives are those which have a combination of sweet and tart flavors like Braeburn, Ginger Gold, Jonagold, Paula Red etc. which provides a nice contrast to the slightly bitter taste of the endives. Pecans add a crunch and the tangy goat cheese crumbled on top provides a creamy finish. The salad is dressed simply with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Endive and apple salad with pecans and goat cheese

1 large head of Belgian endive
1/2 Braeburn apple, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup roasted salted pecans, broken up into bits
2 oz fresh goat cheese like Chevre, crumbled
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Dressing
1 teaspoon good quality aged balsamic vinegar (the cheap ones are too acidic)
2 teaspoons unfiltered or a good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Preheat a stove top grill pan over medium heat.
  2. Cut the endive into half vertically and brush both sides with olive oil. Place the cut side on the preheated grill and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes just to get grill marks and warm the endive a bit. Flip to the other side and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Chop the endives into 1/2 inch pieces and combine with the apples and pecans. 
  4. Make a dressing with the balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoon olive oil and kosher salt. Lightly dress the salad and top with crumble goat cheese.
Serves 2

Note: If you liked endive, then you might want to try the endive, corn and black eyed pea salad

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swiss Chard and Portobello Mushrooms


Pasta is a family favorite and so are mushrooms. But Swiss chard has replaced spinach as a green of choice. It is heartier than spinach and does not leave you with that alkaline taste in your mouth, unless you use organic spinach.  

This is an earthy dish with whole wheat pasta, Swiss chard and meaty portobello mushrooms. I use red onions in this dish, since the mushrooms and chard can both stand up to the stronger flavor of red onions.Chili flakes give it a little kick and the goat cheese ties up the dish, creating a light, tangy and creamy sauce. The goat cheese must be at room temperature, otherwise it remains clumpy and does not mix well.

Spaghetti with Swiss chard and Portobello mushrooms

4 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 bunch organic Swiss chard, washed and trimmed, stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces and the leaves cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
2 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (I use 1/2 teaspoon since I like it spicy)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 oz soft goat cheese at room temperature
  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the sliced portobello mushrooms and cook without stirring till the mushrooms acquire a golden brown color on one side about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and continue to cook for another couple of minutes till they are soft and golden. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet and add the chili flakes and garlic and lower the heat to medium - cook for 30 seconds and add the chopped red onion. Cook till the onions start to soften and become translucent - about 4 to 5 minutes and then add the chopped Swiss chard stems. Saute for another 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat and then add the chopped chard leaves. Toss well and cover and cook over medium heat till the stems and the leaves are soft about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cover and add 3/4 teaspoon of salt and the sauteed mushrooms. Mix well.
  3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook till it is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta. 
  4. Add the hot pasta and the crumbled goat cheese to the mushroom and chard mixture. Toss everything well and keep adding the reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a light sauce that clings to the pasta. Serve hot.
Serves 2

French lentil salad

Being almost vegetarian we eat a lot of lentils. My latest love is French green lentils also known as puy lentils. They cook quickly and retain their shape unlike their brown cousins which can turn to mush pretty quickly. Hence, they are great in salads.

I like the combination of black grapes (this is the peak season for grapes), dried sweet cherries, salted pecans, bell peppers, and scallions, dressed with sherry vinegar and walnut oil. The walnut oil gives the salad a rich nutty flavor. The salad makes a great lunch with a slice of country bread and some fruity olive oil for dipping and it is perfect for picnics since it is very portable.


French lentil salad 

1/2 cup French green lentils ( I used organic green lentils)
1 large garlic clove, skinned and lightly bruised
1 carrot, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 stick of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
One salt free vegetarian stock cube (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

10 black grapes, cut into quarters (they are my personal favorite, but other varieties can be substituted)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
10 dried sweet cherries (you can use tart cherries if you like a tart flavor)
One spring onion, finely minced, white and green parts
1 tablespoon good quality aged sherry vinegar (the cheaper ones are too acidic)
2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil 
1/3 cup roasted salted pecans, broken into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place the lentils, garlic, carrot, celery, stock cube if using and salt in a saucepan and add enough water so that it is about 2 inches above the lentils. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer - it takes about 35 minutes to cook. If the lentils are old they make take longer. The lentils should be soft but still hold their shape. Once done, remove the garlic, carrot, and celery and drain the lentils. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon walnut oil to the lentils while it is still warm so that it absorbs the flavors better.
  2. Once the lentil has cooled, add the grapes, bell pepper, cherries, spring onion, and pecans and toss well. Then add the balance 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon walnut oil. Mix well. Check for salt and pepper and adjust according to your taste. It is best to serve the salad at least an hour after making to allow for the flavors to meld. 
  3. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 3

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brown Rice fried rice with edamame

Edamame - the ubiquitous appetizer at a Japanese restaurant is a great addition to a fried rice. Edamame means "beans on branches" and is picked right before the soybean is ripe. As an appetizer it is served in their shell - for the fried rice, you can cook the whole edamame with their shells and then shell them or buy the frozen shelled version.
It pairs well with brown basmati rice which has a lovely nutty taste and makes for a tasty fried rice. And corn features in this recipe, just like a few other recent recipes of mine - (popular vegetable this summer since the farmers markets are flooded with them and are super sweet).
This dish is very rich in protein and fiber both from the edamame and the brown rice. It pairs well with grilled okra and sweet potato leaves.


Brown rice fried rice with edamame and corn

3/4 cup brown basmati rice
1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup spring onions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped (save the green parts finely chopped for garmish)
2 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 cup shelled edamame
1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed
1 - 2 fresh red chili, thinly sliced (depending on your heat tolerance)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame chili oil (chili flavored sesame oil - regular toasted sesame oil can be substituted and it if you like your dish hot, then add some chili flakes in step 2 after the oil is hot)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Place the brown basmati rice and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan (should have a tight fitting lid) and bring to a boil. Once the rice starts to boil, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 50 minutes without opening the cover. By the end of 50 minutes all the water will be absorbed and you should have fluffy rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes and remove the cover and fluff the rice with a fork and set aside to cool. (To expedite cooling spread out the rice in a sheet try or a large plate). 
  2. Heat a large skillet with canola oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and the white and light green parts of the spring onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shelled edamame, corn, sliced red chilies and salt and continue to cook over medium heat till the edamame is cooked about 3 to 4 minutes. 
  3. Add the cooled basmati rice, soy sauce and the toasted sesame chili oil and mix well. Lastly add the green parts of the scallions and give the rice one good toss. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.
Serves 2 to 3