Edamame reminds me of summers in California.  It’s only fitting that I make this in the middle of winter weather hell.  When I was younger I would get excited at the thought of enjoying the slightly salty and nutty morsels. Actually, now that I think about it, I still get excited at the thought of enjoying the bright green snack. This comes partly from the enjoyment of the final product but mostly from it being a staple that was associated with my summer days of pretending to be a ninja fighting off dragons, a wizard using the pool as a giant cauldron, or a killer whale trainer.  It reminds me of warm summers in our backyard with the family as they drink beers and relatives visiting from out of country.  Edamame reminds me of happiness.

Preparing the edamame is a quick process.  You can usually find them frozen in most markets, but in the off chance that you are one of the lucky few, they may be available fresh and still attached to their branch.  The only thing that takes time is to get the water to a boil.  I have vivid memories from my childhood watching the edamame in the pot as the water’s rolling boil tumbles the pods in a violent dance to become tender.  You can enjoy this dish both hot, room temperature, or cold.  I would rather have it cold, especially if it is a dry summer day.

Once the edamame has finished cooking, I put it in an ice cold salt water bath.  It brings the temperature down quickly without losing the color, but more importantly it allows some of the salt water to seep into the beans.  This creates an end result of pods exploding with intense flavor as you bite into the pod.  Depending on how salty you like them, you can sprinkle and toss some kosher salt on the soybeans after you drain it.  I like adding more salt because of the slighty rough texture you get from the crystals on your tongue when you bite down on the pods.

I’ve recently been introduced to dressing the edamame with a little lime juice and hot sauce of your choice.  It’s a massive tastebud/toungue overload with the tickle of the slightly fuzzy pod shells, bite of the hot sauce, and the tart punch of the lime juice.  I’ve used shiracha and sambel olek.  Both are wonderful, but it’s all up to the person eating it.


8 cups of water

2 cups of edamame, frozen

½ cup of salt, plus some for sprinkling

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

¼ tsp lime juice (optional)


boil 4 cups water in a large pot on high

add ¼ cup of the salt to boiling water and dump edamame into pot

cook on high for 5 minutes or until the pods are cooked (there should be a slight cripness to the pod)

transfer pods to a bowl filled with ice cold salted water, using the remaining water and salt

soak edamame for 5 minutes until completely cool and drain

sprinkle salt, and if desired, hot sauce, and lime juice over edamame and toss

-serves 4-6 –


1 Response to “edamame”

  1. 1 juyeon
    February 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Edamame, huh?

    That’s my favorite!!! And nowadays it’s so easy because you can buy the frozen ones everywhere in the USA. (not certainly in Mexico.)
    Hope you are well! I miss you and your cooking!


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