Eda-mame are fresh, young soy beans that are often boiled in the pod and eaten in summertime with a generous sprinkling of salt and a chilled Japanese Beer. Their name means “branch beans” because sometimes you can buy them still attached to their stalks. You can probably find them at most grocery stores (check the freezer section), but if you ever come across fresh ones, here is a simple (and traditional) way to prepare them. Soy beans have always been an important source of protein in the Japanese diet. I like them because they curb my frequent salt craving without having to eat potato chips or popcorn!
- If still attached, take the bean pods off the stalks. Sprinkle the pods with a lot of salt and rub the salt into them with your fingers. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Add the pods to a pan of boiling water. Boil over high heat for 7-10 minutes. Drain and run under cold water.
- Serve in a bowl with a few more dashes of salt on top, if desired.
- Serve with an ice cold Japanese beer, like Sapporo or Asahi. Oh, and just squeeze the pods with your teeth to pop out the tender beans inside. Some may fly across the room, but it’s more fun that way.
The Nutritional Value of about 1 1/8 cup of these beans in the pod (from edamame.com):
- 120 calories
- 9 grams fiber
- 2.5 grams fat
- 11 grams protein
- 13 grams carbohydrates
- 15 mg sodium
- 10% Daily Value for vitamin C
- 10% Daily Value for iron
- 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
- 4% Daily Value for calcium