150g sunflower seeds, 25g sunflower seeds, 2 scant tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 scant tablespoons of water
I had poached eggs with pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds in a nice surf café in Lahinch (what is it with the link between surfing and seeds?) and they were great. But as I was eating I couldn’t help thinking how much better the dish would be if the seeds had been toasted, and as I thought about that, I was reminded of those amazingly tasty seasoned, toasted seeds that were popular a few years ago – I used to wolf them by the handful.
I tried making them last week and they turned out to be as easy to make as they are delicious – you just mix the seeds with some water, some good quality soy sauce and perhaps a tiny drop of Tabasco. They’re wonderfully savoury but not salty as such, and their texture is addictive: crunchy, crisp, varying, making them perfect as a snack with drinks or sprinkled over salads.
I decided to forego the pumpkin seeds altogether (lovely on their own but too attention-grabbing in a mix) and just made a sunflower-sesame version using 150g and 25g of each. I mixed the seeds with two scant tablespoons of Kikkoman soy sauce and two of water. The water seems like a terrible idea while you’re cooking them (so soggy! so pale! so unnecessary!) but trust me, the seeds will become crisp and golden. The good thing about adding the water is that it gives the seeds a little more time to toast throughout without ‘catching’, as seeds, and sesame seeds in particular, are wont to do. The seeds should take about ten minutes – check them frequently, and give them another few minutes if they need it – you’re looking for seeds that are totally dry to the touch. Once they’re cooked, leave them to cool in their tray and then transfer to an airtight jar.