Fresh Edamame

Fresh Edamame

Learn how to prepare fresh edamame picked from the vine, a delightful and healthy snack. This article provides a simple recipe for cooking and seasoning edamame, along with a suggestion for using natural Japanese sea salt, known as arajio, to enhance the flavor.

If you haven't ever tried edamame picked fresh from the vine, please scour your local farmers market, just in case someone's selling them. I happened to drop by the Union Square market in NYC and came across a pile -- and grabbed 'em fast. Edamame are young soybeans in the pod, usually sold precooked and frozen (like the kind you typically get in restaurants). The fresh ones aren't nearly as perfect looking, and smaller in size. But the flavor and texture - so sublimely beany and firm and vital feeling as you bite into them. Preparing fresh edamame is a snap:

Edamame with Salt

Ingredients:

  • Edamame (soybeans in the pod)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water for boiling

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Pot: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Ensure there's plenty of water to cover the edamame.

  2. Prep the Edamame: Snip the stalk ends off the beans to allow the salt water to penetrate more easily.

  3. Cook the Edamame: Add the edamame to the boiling water. Keep the heat high and cook for about 2 minutes. Taste to ensure they're fully cooked and have lost their raw green edge.

  4. Cool the Edamame: Transfer the cooked edamame to a colander. Shock them under cold running water until cool to the touch.

  5. Season and Serve: Move the cooled edamame to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt to taste and mix well. Arrange in a mound on a serving platter, sprinkle a little more salt over the top, and serve. Enjoy the beans and discard the shells.

Oh, and a word about salt: The salt in the picture above is arajio, that is, natural Japanese sea salt. This coarse salt is still wet with brine, so it's loaded with incredible oceany and mineral flavors. It's absolutely fantastic; I love this salt. It's quite potent, so be careful not to over-salt. You can find arajio in Japanese markets; it's a bargain compared to fancy gourmet salts, to boot.