Soybeans are loaded with protein—they have twice as much as other beans—but when fully ripe, they are unappealing in taste
and texture. Edamame are fresh soybeans harvested at 80 percent maturity, when they are still crisp, green, and sweet.
Season: Frozen: year-round; fresh: May through September.
How to Choose Edamame
Most commonly found frozen, edamame are available both shelled and in the pods. Shelled beans are convenient for use in salads, while those in the pods make a great snack. Find fresh beans in Asian markets; look for flat, yet plump, pods of a uniform dark green shade.
How to Store Edamame
Refrigerate fresh pods in a bag for up to 4 days. Frozen beans can be kept for 3 months.
How to Prepare Edamame
Shelling edamame before they’re cooked is no easy task, but they pop out easily after cooking; boil fresh beans in their pods for 5 minutes in salted water. Frozen beans are typically sold parboiled and only need to be boiled for a few minutes (follow package directions).
How to Use Edamame
Whole pods make an excellent appetizer. Just sprinkle with coarse sea salt, squeeze the pods gently, and pop the beans directly into your mouth. Toss shelled beans into soups, salads, and pasta dishes.
Real Simple Edamame Recipes:
- Linguine with Garlic and Soybeans
- Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs With Edamame
- Peanut Noodles With Edamame
- Risotto With Edamame, Lemon, and Tarragon
- Sautéed Chicken With Corn and Edamame
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.