Edamame (eh-dah-MAH-meh) are young, sweet, green soybeans harvested while still tender. Sometimes you will see them referred to as Japanese soybeans because “eda” means branch or twig and “mame” is bean in Japanese.
Look for fresh, shelled edamame in the produce section of many grocery stores. They also are sold frozen, both in the pod and shelled.
Frozen, in-the-pod edamame are about $2 for a 16-ounce package. An 8-ounce package of frozen shelled edamame is about $1.50.
A fun fact about edamame is that the word was first found in an English-language publication in 1951. But edamame and its definition (immature green soybeans, usually in the pod) was added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as a new word only in 2008.
Edamame is used as a source of protein in many vegetarian recipes. A half cup of edamame contains about 8 grams of protein. Like many other beans, edamame also has fiber, with 4 grams per ½ cup serving.
You can eat edamame hot or cold. They have a very mild bean taste and, when cooked, a soft texture.
A popular way to enjoy edamame is to steam or boil them in their pods in salted water. Remove them and pop the beans out of their pods and then lightly salt them.
Edamame pods are not edible.
You can eat edamame on their own for a snack or you can add them to casseroles and stir-fries or serve them as a side dish. Edamame is a great addition to a tossed salad or substitute them for another bean in a bean salad.
Their soft texture makes them easy to process into a paste-like mixture for use in dips.
CELERY SLAW WITH EDAMAME
If you buy edamame frozen in the pod and uncooked, cook them in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and refresh them under cold water.
4 large, tender celery ribs
1 carrot, peeled
1 cup cooked edamame
2 green onions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped celery leaves
1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons canola oil
½ teaspoon celery seed
In a food processor or with a sharp knife, slice the celery and carrot as thinly as possible.
Put the celery and carrot in a bowl of ice water and crisp them for 15 minutes. Drain and pat them dry. Wipe out the bowl and return the celery and carrot to it.
Add the edamame, green onions, cilantro and celery leaves and toss well. In another bowl, whisk the rice wine vinegar with the oil and celery seed.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables; toss and serve.
Created by Bethany Thayer, MS, RD, for Heart Smart and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
104 calories (44 percent from fat), 5 grams fat (0.5 gram sat. fat), 9 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 72 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.5 grams fiber . Food exchanges: 2 vegetables, 1 fat.
1 garlic clove, peeled
¼ cup Marcona almonds
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, black pepper
In a food processor, mince the garlic and almonds. Add the edamame, parsley, cheese and lemon zest; pulse until coarsely blended.
With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, blending until emulsified but some texture remains. Season with salt and pepper.
The pesto may be prepared up to one week ahead, covered in an airtight container and refrigerated. Serve with crostini.
Makes 1½ cups.
Recipe from “Seriously Simple Parties,” Diane Worthington (Chronicle Books, $24.95) (Contra Costa Times)
EDAMAME DIP BY ALTON BROWN
12 ounces shelled, cooked, and cooled edamame, about 2 cups, recipe follows
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, sliced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown miso
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red chili paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
Place the edamame, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, miso, salt, chili paste and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once all of the oil has been added, stop, scrape down the bowl and then process another 5 to 10 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Serve with chips or crackers. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.