Edamame 101

August 29, 2011

Looking for a great snack or to toss some extra protein in a salad? Well then choose edamame, but what is edamame? Find out here

What is Edamame? Edamame means “beans on branches” because they grow in clusters on bush branches. They are young soy beans and are a nutritional powerhouse and a staple in Japanese cuisine.

How to Buy: Available year round fresh or frozen in the produce or freezer sections. Should be bright, clear green, and similar in hue to peas.

How to Read the Label: Ingredients should list only soybeans and salt.

Choices: Fresh and frozen.

How to Use: Fresh should be cooked in salted water for about 5 minutes or in a bowl of salted water for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. Use fresh edamame within 1-2 days of purchase. To eat, split the pods and eat the seeds only. May 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 pods should be boiled with a little salt, allowed to return to a boil, and cooled for 5 minutes. Drain, season and serve.

How to Store: Frozen packages keep for up to 3 months; fresh edamame should be refrigerated only for 1-2 days, otherwise they develop an unsavory mucous.

Health Benefits: High amounts of fiber and protein content comparable to eggs and meat. No cholesterol, low sodium, high in Omega 3 and 6, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamins C and K. 

Smarter Shopper: Frozen edamame are cheaper than fresh, offer very long shelf life, contain same amount of nutrients and just as easy to cook.