Thursday, June 2, 2016

Wok Wednesdays | Stir-Fried Edamame with Pickled Cucumbers

WW wokking through Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
by Grace Young

Soybeans . . .  considered to be one of the five sacred grains of China; featured here in a most delicious side-dish. The recipe, courtesy of the influential Florence Lin, cookbook author and former teacher in Chinese cooking.

 Mise en place.

Bowl 1: Ginger
Bowl 2: Edamame
Bowl 3: Pickled cucumber
Bowl 4: Chicken broth
Bowl 5: Salt

The ginger gets a quick stir around the wok, then the edamame is added and stir-fried for a minute or two, at which time the cucumber is added and continues to cook for a short time more. Next the broth and salt are added and everything is mixed together until combined.

(For the complete recipe, see page 234 of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge.)

This recipe uses Chinese pickled cucumber - different from our Western-style pickles; these are cucumbers that have been pickled in a mixture of sugar, water, soy sauce, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) - depending on the brand, you may be able to find it without the MSG.

If you do not have access to the Chinese pickled cucumber, Florence says you can sub in the Western pickle, as long as it was not pickled in vinegar - and Grace, she will toss them in some soy sauce and sugar to help replicate the flavor of the Chinese version.

This effortless and tasty stir-fry comes together in mere minutes. I loved the deep, slightly spicy flavor and crunch of the pickled cucumbers, which made a nice contrast to the sweet, tender edamame. Grace mentions in the book that this can be served hot, room temp, or chilled - me, I preferred it straight from the wok, though chilled was good too.

Thank you Grace and Florence for such a delicious recipe! This will be one I hope to repeat time and time again; and I'm off to a good start - for I have already made it once more - for my lunch the following day.

If you are interested, here is a lovely article with Florence Lin and Cecelia Chiang (another grande dame in Chinese cooking).

The recipe can be found on page 234 of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, by Grace Young.


We as a group have agreed not to post the recipes on our blogs. 


  1. Cathy, I'm so impressed you found the Chinese pickle and that you've already made this twice. It's a classic Shanghainese stir-fry from the great Florence Lin!

  2. What an incredibly sounding recipe! I have never had the pickled cucumbers before - they look very interesting.

  3. That looks gorgeous Cathy! I just may have to give it a try. Love your top photo so much!

  4. I wonder if anyone has a recipe for the dark, soy-pickled, Chinese cucumbers.


Thanks for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to comment.