Edamame is a large-seed soybean (legume) that grows in pods. It is from the same species as field soybeans but has been specifically bred to produce larger seeds with different characteristics for fresh consumption. Essentially, it is an immature or “fresh” soybean, commonly known as a “green vegetable soybean.”
Edamame has a soft, smooth consistency with a slightly sweet flavor. It requires minimal cooking compared to mature soybeans. Mature soybeans are hard and must be re-hydrated by a longer cooking process to soften the beans before eating.
Edamame is an excellent source of plant protein and very popular among vegetarians and non-vegetarians. In addition to being nutrient-dense, edamame is easier to digest than mature soybeans. This is appealing for many people who can’t tolerate other types of legumes. Quick and easy to prepare, edamame goes well in a variety of dishes. Some tasty uses for edamame include roasted garlic edamame spread, Greek-style edamame salad, edamame couscous and dark chocolate-coated roasted edamame for dessert.
Ready to try edamame? You need to first cook the pods before removing the beans. It is very difficult to remove the bean from the raw pod. DO NOT EAT THE POD – only the bean is edible.
However, you can always skip this step by buying already shelled edamame.
Basic preparation – Edamame in the pod
fresh edamame (green soybeans) in the pod
- Clean the pods by placing in a colander. Rinse and drain under running tap water a few times to
remove dirt and any surface residue.
2. Boil for about five minutes.
3. Drain the pods and rinse under cool running water.
5. Gently squeeze the pod to remove the beans.Try the recipe below for a delicious blend of edamame, strawberries and white beans.
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ apple juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups shelled edamame
1 ½ cups strawberries, rinsed and sliced with stems removed
1 can low sodium white beans, drained and rinsed – 15 ounce can
½ cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
6 cups baby spinach
1. Cook edamame according to package instructions while preparing other ingredients.
2. Rinse under cool water and drain.
3. In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients.
4. In a medium bowl combine other ingredients except for the spinach and vinaigrette.
5. Divide and layer the spinach leaves onto four individual plates. Top with the edamame,
white bean and strawberry mixture.
6. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional information per serving: 270 calories, 14 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat,
10 g dietary fiber, 350 milligrams sodium, 208 milligrams calcium and 310 milligrams potassium
Recipe and image source: USDA What’s Cooking Mixing Bowl