I love edamame. They are crunchy and have a nut-like flavor, but they have far fewer fat grams than nuts. Edamame are baby soybeans in the pod. The Japanese name literally means “twig bean” and is a reference to the short stem attached to the pod. The green soybeans in the pod are picked before they ripen and the pods are then boiled in water or steamed – typically with salt. I first encountered them as a snack served in the pod prepared with salt and spices. You use your teeth to strip them out of the pod and eat them. (It is funny to watch people who don’t realize that they shouldn’t try to eat the pod after they get a mouthful of pod. It’s polite to warn them before they take that unfortunate step.)
I buy bags of frozen edamame beans out of the pod. They have been pre-boiled, and if you want to use them out of the bag, they only need a few minutes in the microwave. They can be tossed into salads, or eaten as a snack.
I made this edamame dish when I was craving some crunch. It is good hot or cold, although I preferred hot. I ate it for dinner, but it would be a nice first course. It has enough garlic to stop several vampires, so I don’t recommend taking it to work for lunch unless you don’t have to talk to anyone that afternoon.
Garlicky Edamame and Mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup mushrooms (button or cremini), thinly sliced
1 cup shelled edamame beans
1 Tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it turns golden. Don’t let it burn or it will be bitter. Add mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until all of their liquid cooks off. Add edamame (you can add them frozen), and stir for about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Makes 2 servings at about 5 grams of fat/serving.