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Edamame - a fun way to Prepare and Serve Soybeans
Eda-Mame a fun technique for cooking soybeans
What is Eda-Mame?
Eda-Mame or edamame, is a Japanese term for fresh young soybeans in the pod, before their ripening stage. It literally means twig bean in Japanese. In Chinese, the same vegetable is known as maodoujia. They can be bright green to darker green in color, and are also available frozen. Did you know that the eda-mame is the only vegetable with a complete protein content that is equal to meat and eggs? That is a pretty impressive vegetable!
My first time having eda-mame I was skeptical. Turns out they can become rather addicting, and are so tasty. It's a great way to enjoy the young soybean still in its pod.
Preparing Eda-mame, the techniques
To use this technique, first separate the pods from the stalks should they still be attached and trim off the stems. With a lot of course sea salt, they rub the salt into the bean pods by hand. Put the beans, still in their pods, in a big bow with a lot of salt, and basically give them a salt "massage". They then let this sit for about 15 minutes or so. It wouldn't hurt to do it a little longer.
Boiling is the key for this technique. After the salt procedure, boil a large pot of water and add the young soy beans. Boil over high heat for 5 - 10 minutes or so. Experiment with the time and maybe test one, as some times said 7-10 minutes, depending on your source or recipe. You want them to stay crunchy and not get soft or mushy. Drain this immediately, and run your soybeans under cool water.
Serving and eating eda-mame
You can serve edamame hot or cold in a fun bowl or basket. Have fun with it, like a snack or an appetizer and drinks. To eat these yummy treats, you put the pods to our mouth, and with your teeth squeeze out the beans. This is especially easy if you have snipped the tips before cooking. What a healthy alternative any time, but I am thinking at Super Bowl Sunday, and or at a fun get together, these may fly out the door. Discard the outer skins.
An alternative way to prepare edamame is to just boil some salt in water like you would be getting ready to put in pasta, and add your edamame to that for the 5-10 minutes. You would be skipping the salt rubbing process, which I think adds a lot. Some add kosher salt after, as well.
Yet another alternative is to steam edamame. Some use them to dip into special sauces as well.
Nutrients in Edamame
Besides the impressive fact that this is the only vegetable to equally rival eggs and animal meats in the protein category, there are many other things going on with this bean. They are high in fiber, carbohydrates and omega fatty acids. Other nutrients include Vitamin K, folic acid, and manganese, not to mention the phytochemicals that are so beneficial.
These are simply wonderful, and if you have never tried it, you will want to soon. It almost doesn't seem right that they taste so good and are so good for you, but its true. Look up some fun recipes for this fun vegetable, as there are some things you can do with spices and flavorings to make these even more tasty.