Edamame is a fresh young soybean that has been harvested before it matured and is used very widely in Asian cuisines.
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How Do You Cook With It?
Edamame has a very light and mild sweet flavor with a touch of umami-ness and is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in salads, enjoyed as a light snack, blended into a dip, or eaten as-is.
The most common and popular way to enjoy them is to boil or steam them for a few minutes and toss them in a bit of salt and eaten as a snack with a cold glass of beer.
How Do You Remove it From the Shell?
Shelled Edamame are not eaten like a typical bean, and cannot be eaten whole. They have a waxy inner shell that is very fibrous and tough to chew (and swallow). The beans are the only thing eaten, and the shells are discarded.
A simple way to remove the beans from the pods is to use your fingers to push the beans against the seams of the pod to pop the beans out.
If the pods are saucy or you don't want to get both your hands dirty, another way to remove the beans is to just hold the bean with 1 hand and use your teeth to push the beans against the seams to pop them out directly into your mouth.
Where Can I Find It?
They are most commonly found in the frozen vegetable section in both regular and Asian grocery stores.
If you are lucky, you can also find them fresh when they are in season late in the Summer.
If you cannot find edamame, fresh, young fava beans, and green peas are a good substitution for edamame beans.
How Do I Store It?
Frozen edamame should be stored in the freezer in a well-sealed container or ziploc bag to prevent freezer burn.