Borrowed from the Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian cultures, Edamame is a spectacularly healthy, tasty and popular, in-demand soybean served as a snack and powerful protein source. They are rich in all the in-demand buzz nutrients, and even the conservative U.S. Department of Agriculture is on-board for all Americans eating more of them. Pronounced, “ED-a-MAH-me,” the word means “Beans on Branches,” because they grow in clusters. To retain the freshness and its natural flavor, the soybeans beans are parboiled and quick-frozen. Simply put, “edamame is salted, yummy, highly nutritional, cooked green soybeans with an odd name.”
Soybeans were introduced in China earlier, but it wasn’t until 927 A.D. that the use of edamame was recorded. The Asian people have depended upon the nourishment of soy for many centuries. Today, Japanese and Chinese restaurants serve edamame, and we can buy them for cooking from the frozen food area of any supermarket and in health stores.
Edamame is famed for being the only vegetable which provides all nine of the essential amino acids. This is in addition to being being a complete protein source on a level with meat or eggs. For a greater plus, they are low in carbs and fat, contain no cholesterol and are gluten free. And, that’s not all! They are a powerful agent in the fight against cancer, menopausal and prostate complications and a fighter against childhood obesity.
Edamame beans look a lot like a medium lima bean, only plumper. Store frozen edamame as you would bags of any other frozen vegetable. Rarely sold fresh, they are widely available frozen, both in their shells and shelled.
One of the quickest ways to see how versatile edamame is and how many ways it is processed and flavored, take a look at Amazon.com’s collection of “trail edamames.”
USES: (The list below is short, as the widest appeal for edamame is as a nutritious snack and delicious used just as you would use frozen green peas or corn hundreds of ways.)
Handiest frozen, out-of-shell
Processed as dip
If in shell, boil until al dente, rinse to cool, easy to remove from shell.
Edamame recipes on the web: