Have you ever wondered why the edamame in your favorite Chinese takeout dish is so crunchy and delicious? Or why some brands of edamame are more expensive than others? The truth is, there is no standard method for preparing edamame, so the texture and taste can vary widely depending on the method and brand used. If you’re ready to up your edamame game at home, then you’ll want to learn how to make the best edamame dishes.
Edamame is a favorite snack of many Asian people. It’s a legume (think soybeans), but the word “edamame” typically refers to the soybeans that have been lightly salted, steamed, and served in a bowl. If you order edamame in a restaurant and it’s not prepared properly, you may know it by another name: “green soybeans.”
What are the best edamame dishes?
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy edamame. Let’s consider some of the best edamame dishes you could make at home.
Soy Sauce Glazed Wings: If you love wings but want to clean your plate with only soybeans, try this recipe.
Edamame Hummus: This is the perfect starter recipe to get your friends and family on the edamame bandwagon. It’s also a great snack or appetizer.
Cold Edamame Noodle Salad: If you love noodles but want to clean your plate with only edamame, try this refreshing salad.
How to make edamame at home
There are two main methods for preparing edamame at home: un-dried and dried.
If you want to make edamame at home without the added salt, go with the sun-dried variety. The pods should be eaten within one or two days of picking when they’re green and fresh. (They’ll keep for several days if you keep them in a paper bag in the fridge.) If you let them dry out, they’ll transform into something a little bit harder and less flavorful.
To prepare un-dried edamame, simply remove the pods from the pods, lightly rinse them, and cook according to your recipe.
If you want a little more flavor, or you’re making your edamame into a dish like soba or a ramen, go with the dried variety. (Typically, you’ll need to rinse the pods thoroughly to remove the salt.)
To prepare dried edamame, simply remove the pods from the pods, and then either let them sit out for a few hours or put them in a paper bag and leave them in a very warm place for up to two weeks. (They’ll become plump, flavorful, and crunchy.)
Don’t buy store-bought edamame—make your own!
It takes about two weeks for un-dried and dried edamame to grow, so you’ll want to start your seeds as soon as you buy them. (Soybeans are a warm-weather crop, so plan your seed-starting for the fall.) Once they’re planted, you can harvest them in about three or four months.
You can either leave the pods whole or go with the easy-to-use shelled method. If you go with the shelled method, just make sure you’re getting the soybeans that are properly harvested and not those grown for oil.
Try these unique edamame recipes
If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy your edamame, consider one of these recipes.
Edamame Hummus with Veggies and sesame: This is a classic hummus recipe, but instead of chickpeas, you’ll use edamame.
Edamame and Chicken Curry: This is a classic combination of hot and cold, with the spicy warmth of curry balanced by the coolness of yogurt.
Eat edamame raw or cooked
While you can enjoy un-dried and dried edamame in a variety of dishes, you can also enjoy it raw or cooked. When eaten raw, un-dried edamame is crunchy and has a mild flavor, while dried edamame has a stronger flavor and a softer texture.
Try these easy edamame snacks
If you’re looking for an easy way to snack on your edamame, try one of these ideas.
Edamame Hummus: If you’ve been making hummus at home, you’ll have no trouble putting this classic combo together.
If you’re more into dipping than eating straight out of the bowl, give this one a try. You can either serve it with some fresh vegetables or your favorite type of chip or simply dip your chip in and enjoy.
Go with the classic
This is one of the easiest and most classic ways to eat edamame. Simply steam the beans until they’re tender and enjoy them with some sea salt or soy sauce, or both. If you want to add a little extra flavor, try adding some minced ginger or garlic. You can also try using a salt-and-sugar baked potato for the base and topping it off with your favorite condiments.
Spice it up with chili sauce
These are great for throwing in the lunchbox or giving as a snack to your co-workers. Simply mix up a batch of edamame hummus, pour it into a bowl, top it with your favorite chili sauce and diced cucumber, and you’ve got the makings of a great snack or lunch.
Go for the veggie burger
You might have heard rumors that eating veggie burgers is good for your heart, but have you ever tried it? If not, this is the perfect opportunity. Veggieburgers are made up of edamame, veggies, and usually a grain, and can be made with or without meat. They’re great for snacking or for making into a packed lunch and can be made with a variety of veggies and grains.
Make it a meal with edamame hummus
Hummus is pretty much healthy food, but when you add edamame, you’ve got a great mid-meal snack. Simply mix up some hummus, pour it into a bowl, and top it with your favorite vegetables or sesame seeds. If you’re feeling creative, you could even add some black sesame seeds for some extra flavor.
Fancy it up with edamame caviar
If you’re feeling a little more extravagant, caviar is the way to go. This is a bit more effort than the other snacks on this list, but it’s also more fun. Simply mix up some hummus, pour it into a bowl and top it with your favorite caviar or sesame seeds and enjoy. You could also go with a more simple black sesame seed if you don’t want to go overboard on the fancy factor.
Whether you buy it at a grocery store, order it from a restaurant, or grow your own, you’ll want to crack open a bag of edamame soon. The beans are easy to grow, fun to eat, and offer some exciting new ways to enjoy the great taste of peas.
Whether you make your own at home or buy them, try out some of these best edamame dishes and snack ideas. The more you know about how to make the best edamame dishes, the more you’ll love them.