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edamameEdamame are fresh soybeans, also called green soybeans and literally mean "beans on twigs". Edamame is harvested when the soybeans are ripe but before they start to harden. Prepared edamame has a surprisingly nice taste. Edamame is used as snack or in vegetable meals and soups. In Japan and other Asian countries, it is very popular to eat cold salted edamame with beer. The pods are slightly boiled in salted water and the seeds are then directly squeezed from the pods into the mouth. As a vegetable dish edamame is boiled in salted and spiced water and then served on a separate dish hot or cold.
The beans without the pods can also be served. Edamame contains all the healthy ingredients of dried soybeans such as isoflavones, soy proteins, saponins and fibers. Because they are still fresh they contain significant quantities of vitamins, including vitamin C (about 10 mg per 100g) which is absent in dried soybeans. Some believe that eating edamame will reduce the toxic effects of drinking alcohol. However, any enzymes that may have a detoxifying effect will be destroyed by cooking the edamame.

Availability of edamame

In Asian countries, fresh edamame can be found in vegetable shops nearly the whole year round. In countries where soybeans are not grown edamame can only be found in frozen form, but even then they will be hard to find in normal supermarkets.

Recipe for edamame appetizer

250 g unshelled edamame
1 liter water
salt to taste

Wash 250 g unshelled edamame in 1 liter water containing 1 tablespoon salt. Boil for about 5 minutes. Drain the edamame, sprinkle with salt and cool.


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