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Edamame is fresh soy beans. Now these are the soybeans used in processed foods. These are eaten right after harvest. The farm distributes them in the pod and still on the plant! A great way to get the kids involved in preparing dinner is to have them take the pods off the plants or even shell them. They have good carbohydrates, protein, fiber and are packed with micronutrients as well as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Quick Tips: add shelled edamame to any stir-fry dish. Salted edamame is a great quick snack similar to peanuts.  

Three Bean Salad: makes 6 servings as a side dish
Epicurious, March 2007

1 1/2 cups  edamame, shelled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can, or 15 0z. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can, or 15 0z. black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups thinly sliced celery
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1) Cook edamame in a saucepan of boiling salted water, uncovered, for 4 min. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. 
2) Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat, then cook cumin until fragrant, about 30 sec. Pour into a large bowl. 
3) Add edamame and remaining ingredients to cumin oil and toss to coat. Let stand 10 min for flavors to blend. 

Brown Rice Bowl with  Edamame and Tamari Scallion Sauce
from Thug Kitchen

1 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp orange juice
4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari or soy sauce
2 cups brown rice (cooked according to instructions)
2 cups shelled edamame 
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

1) Make the sauce : throw everything into a food processor or blender and let it run until sauce looks smooth. You should get about 2/3 cups of sauce. 
2) Spoon brown rice and edamame into a bowl and drizzle a tablespoon or two of sauce all over it. add almonds for added crunch. Great for a healthy savory breakfast or snack. 

Salted Edamame: Serves 4

Edamame (in the pods still!)
Sea salt

1) Boil water on the stove top
2) Add edamame once water is boiling. Let sit in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until neans inside pods are soft.
3) Strain with a collender.
4) Place in a bowl and toss with salt to taste.
5) To eat, hold stem of the pod in your fingers and slide pod out of your mouth while your teeth are closed to make the beans easily slip out of the pods and into your mouth (while getting some of that salt, too!) Goes great with beer.

Spicy Edamame

1/2 pound edamame
1 1/2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
Spicy Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1) Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the raw edamame and the salt. When the water has returned to a boil, lower the flame and simmer for 4-6 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2) Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Mix in the cooked edamame so that they are coated with the sauce. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for 1-2 days.