How to Eat Edamame

Well, that’s the question - how to eat edamame (which I might have misspelled), those green soybean pods from Japanese cooking?

I’ve generally split them open with my tumbnail and eaten just the soybeans. Which I enjoy.

Actually the question is probably “Do you eat just the beans, or the green pods, too?”

The pods are really stringy.

Take the pod, stick up to the first bean in your mouth, bite lightly and slide. The bean pops out very easily, and you don’t have to use your nails at all.

I boil them for a few minutes in salted water, pour them out in a colander, and then just push the beans out of the pod and eat them. The pod is tough and stringy.

Here’s an excellent recipe for Spicy Sesame Noodles with Edamame. (Note: I make it with half the canola oil that they call for, and I think it tastes great that way.)

Yeah, don’t be like me and eat the pod the first time I tried them. Boy did my mother look at me funny when I spit out a wad of plant fiber onto my plate.

My kids love to eat those; they really enjoy popping them open. The first time I served them to my husband, he thought they were snap peas and tried to eat them pod and all. The pod is definitely not edible.

You can eat the pods. You can eat corn husks and melon rinds as well, but do you really want to?

I just squeeze them with my fingers into my mouth. Another good way to serve them (messy) is to drizzle soy sauce over them before eating instead of just salt. Gives you just a hint of the flavor when you pop the bean into your mouth.