What is edamame? Well, if you came to this post, you might already know. However, perhaps it was the promise of a spicy, salty snack that brought you here – so let us explain. “Edamame” is essentially an immature soybean. Yes, that’s right – soy (in the guise of edamame) features in this protein-rich salty snack recipe! Furthermore, edamame is a great way to get some nutrition, even when you’re relaxing (and maybe sipping a beer).
Is there anything the mighty soybean can’t do?
It’s all about the Izakaya!
An Izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a pub or tavern. It’s an informal place to have a drink and some snacks. However, instead of chips or nachos, you’ll often order a plate of edamame to munch on. This snack is super flexible, so you can have your edamame salty, spicy, garlicky, deep-fried, etc … use your imagination!
Edamame beans are picked when they are young and soft, which makes them easy to eat. However, the trick to making them delicious is boiling them in salted water. Salt then infuses and seasons the pods. Once they have cooled a little, you simply hold the pod up to your mouth and pop the beans in, one at a time.
Here’s a fun video showing you how to eat edamame.
The Inspiration for our Spicy Edamame
Ironically, we encountered our favorite edamame at a vegan Japanese restaurant in the USA! Funny, huh? At this place, they toss the edamame in extra salt, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and chili, making it deliciously spicy! It’s a terrific way to start a meal of vegan sushi and Japanese food (and maybe a cold beer or two). As always, this great meal inspired us, so we created our own Spicy Edamame recipe.
Disclaimer: a visit to Japan is still on my wish list, so my favorite edamame might be knocked from its perch by a future vacation meal! Stay tuned …
Not Junk Food
Now, after all this talk of pubs, snacks, and restaurants you might ask – is this food healthy? Well, Yes! These are soybeans, after all, and therefore full of protein. Furthermore, they contain all 9 essential amino acids, making them a great food for vegans and vegetarians! Roughy one cup of edamame pods provides 11 grams of protein for just 120 calories. What’s more, you’ll get a 9-gram dose of fiber. So in summary, our Spicy Edamame will make you feel good about snacking!
Edamame: Where to get it + How to Cook it
Fresh edamame is very seasonal because the young soybeans are perishable. In fact, it can be hard to get your hands on the fresh stuff outside of Japan. Luckily, there is a solution. Edamame is harvested, partly or fully cooked, and quickly frozen. These beans taste great despite the freezing. Of the various brands out there, Trader’s Joe’s “Lightly Salted Edamame” is our favorite. With a stash of these waiting in your freezer, you’re always ready for a spicy snack.
Preparing our spicy edamame is easy since the boiling is already done. We simply add some oil to a medium-hot skillet, then cook the garlic, onion, bell peppers and frozen edamame altogether! In fact, the beans don’t even require thawing (in fact, it’s not recommended). Fry everything for around 10 minutes, then simply grab an edamame pod and check that it’s hot inside. That’s it! You’re done! Plate it up and pour a refreshing drink.
Note: If you are lucky enough to find some fresh edamame at a market, check out this great guide on how to cook them.
One last thing – this edamame is great to enjoy with friends (provided they like it spicy)! There’s something about sharing from one big bowl that connects everyone. All of that grabbing, popping and chewing keeps everyone engaged and (dare we say) off their phones!
So invite some friends over and share some edamame! After all – “make a friend some edamame, and they’ll be happy for a day. Teach a friend to make their own edamame, and they’ll be happy for a lifetime!“
We hope you and your friends really enjoyed this recipe! Please let us know with a rating and a comment. Every bit of feedback makes the blog even better!Print
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