Edamame are edible green soybeans that are gaining popularity in America and have long been popular in Japan. If you’re a fan of Japanese food you may have seen these served as an appetizer in a Japanese restaurant. Edamame, which translates to “bean on a branch” in Japanese, have a nutty and slightly sweet flavor.
Storage and Handling:
Remove the pods from the plant for use and storage. The pods will keep for up to a week in a loosely closed plastic bag.
Edamame are generally not eaten raw and the shell is not edible. Shelling the beans is easier to do after they’ve been cooked. The whole pods can be boiled for 3 to 5 minutes, steamed for 3 to 5 minutes, or cooked in the microwave with a little water for 3 to 5 minutes.
The beans are excellent as a simple side dish with a little salt or tamari, or used in salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, casseroles, pasta and rice dishes. For a simple and fun treat for the whole family, try the Steamed Edamame recipe, which is an adapted recipe to mimic the Edamame Appetizer you may have tried at a local Japanese Restaurant. Kids love it!
Edamame can be frozen as the whole pod or just the shelled beans, depending on how you like to use it.
- Boil a large pot of water, enough to fit all the pods or do them in batches. Once the water is boiling, remove from the heat, add the edamame pods and let sit in the hot water for 1 to 2 minutes. The pods should still be bright green.
- Immediately remove the pods from the hot water to an ice bath to stop the cooking and cool the pods. Once cool, allow them to drain in a colander.
- At this point, if you are going to freeze the beans already shelled, you can start shelling now. Otherwise start filling freezer bags with pods, remove as much air as possible, seal and transfer to your freezer.