I love visiting my local Japanese restaurant and ordering an entree of steamed and salted Edamame beans. My kids love them and I know they are good for them too. You gotta try them!
Edamame – commonly known to most as a little bright green accompaniment whilst Japanese dining – translates in English to mean “beans on branches”.
This is literally because they grow in clusters on bush branches – soy plants to be exact.
The little pods are young soy beans that are both a nutritional powerhouse and a staple in Japanese cuisine.
Edamame are available year round, either fresh or frozen in the produce or freezer sections.
They should be bright, clear green, and similar in hue to peas, and packeted ingredients should list only soybeans and salt.
Fresh should be cooked in salted water for about five minutes or in a bowl of salted water for one to two minutes in the microwave.
Make sure to use fresh edamame within a few days of purchase otherwise they develop an unsavory mucous.
To eat, split the pods and eat the seeds only. They can be seasoned with spices, a small squeeze of lemon, or Japanese style either hot or cold with salt only.
Eat as a snack, appetizer, over pasta or rice, in salads, stir fries, soups or any recipe that calls for beans or veggies.
Frozen edamame are cheaper than fresh, offer very long shelf life, contain same amount of nutrients and just as easy to cook.
Frozen pods should be boiled with a little salt, allowed to return to a boil, and cooled for five minutes. Simply drain, season and serve.
These frozen packages can keep for up to 3 months.
Besides providing a bit of shelling fun for the dinner table, edamame is also nutritionally beneficial.
They have high amounts of fibre and protein content comparable to eggs and meat.
Other benefits include zero cholesterol, low sodium, and high levels of Omega 3 and 6, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamins C and K.