Edamame, A Quick Snack

Edamame is the immature soybean. They are available fresh at the farmers market this time of the year, either still on the stalk or already picked off. When you are ready to enjoy them, place the pods in a steamer set up over a pot of boiling water. They will turn bright green as they steam. Check after 7 minutes to see if the inside beans are tender. If not, let them continue to steam. When they are tender, remove from the stove, sprinkle with salt to taste. You can also sprinkle with a spice mixture of your choice or dip in soy sauce, whatever you prefer.

To eat edamame which is still in the pod, place the pod at your mouth, then squeeze or bite the beans into your mouth. You don’t eat the pod, just the edamame beans inside, which will easily pop out.

If you are sitting outside enjoying an early autumn day or watching “the game”, when you want a snack, remember to quickly prepare yourself some edamame.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about edamame:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edamame

Harvesting[edit]

Edamame is typically harvested by hand to avoid damaging the crop’s stems and leaves.[6] Green soybean pods are picked before they fully ripen, typically 35 to 40 days after the crop first flowers.[7] Soybeans harvested at this stage are sweeter because they contain moresucrose than soybeans picked later in the growing season.[6] Other factors contributing to edamame’s desirable flavor include free amino acids such as glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and alanine. Often these unbound amino acids decrease as the pods fully expand and ripen.[6]

Cooking[edit]

Pods may be boiled in water, steamed, or microwaved. The ends of the pod are sometimes cut before boiling or steaming. The most common preparations use salt for taste, either dissolved in the boiling water before introducing the soybean pods or added after cooking.

Edamame is a popular side dish at Japanese izakaya restaurants with local varieties being in demand, depending on the season.[citation needed] Salt and garlic are typical condiments for edamame. In Japan, a coarse salt wet withbrine is preferred on beans eaten directly from the pod.[8][9]

Storage[edit]

Edamame purchased fresh is preferably eaten the same day, with flavor degradation being noticeable in as few as 10 hours after harvest.[6] However, edamame will stay edible for three days when stored in the refrigerator (i.e. if not already brown). Damaged pods brown more rapidly however, mainly due to the enzyme polyphenol oxidase.[6] If stored fresh, the pods should be kept humid to prevent discoloration and wilting. This can be accomplished by wrapping the pods in plastic or another material which traps moisture.

Freezing fresh edamame is another option for maintaining good quality over a few months.[10] Fresh edamame should be blanched first before being frozen.[11]

Nutrient content[edit]

The United States Department of Agriculture states that edamame beans are, “a soybean that can be eaten fresh and are best known as a snack with a nutritional punch”.[12]

Edamame and other preparations of soybeans are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and micronutrients, particularly folate, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin K (table).[13]

The balance of fatty acids in 100 grams of edamame is 361 mg of omega-3 fatty acids to 1794 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.[14]

As a significant source of plant protein, edamame beans are under research to establish whether a relationship exists for soy consumption with reduction of disease risk.[15]