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Edamame (枝豆) (English pronunciation: /ˌɛdəˈmɑːmeɪ/) or edamame bean is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, and Hawaii. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole.
Outside East Asia, the dish is most often found in Japanese restaurants and some Chinese restaurants, but it has also found popularity elsewhere as a healthy food item.
The Japanese name edamame (枝豆) is commonly used to refer to the dish. The Japanese name literally means "twig bean" (eda = "twig" + mame = "bean") and refers to young soybeans cropped with their twigs. Edamame refers also to the salt-boiled dish because of its prevalence. Edamame is a popular side dish at Japanese izakaya restaurants with local varieties being in demand, depending on the season. The salt is also important for edamame. In Japan, arajio is the preferred salt, because it is a natural sea salt. This coarse salt is wet with brine, thus loaded with ocean and mineral flavors.
In Chinese, young soybeans are known as maodou (Chinese: 毛豆; pinyin: máodòu; literally "hairy bean"). Young soybeans in the pod are known as maodoujia (Chinese: 毛豆荚; pinyin: máodòujiá; literally "hairy bean pod"). Because boiling in the pod is the usual preparation for young soybeans, the dish is usually identified via a descriptive name, such as "boiled maodou", or "salt-boiled maodou", depending on the condiments added. Simply saying the name of the bean, maodou, in a Chinese restaurant will produce salt-flavored, boiled maodou.
In Pakistan, edamame beans are known as "photas". They are usually fried in a pan with salt and served slightly burnt. Photas are also a common offering for street vendors, who cook them in heated salt and serve them in paper bags.
The earliest solid reference to the green vegetable dates from the year 1275, when the well-known Japanese monk, Nichiren Shonin, wrote a note thanking a parishioner for the gift of "edamame" he had left at the temple.
Green soybeans in the pod are picked before they ripen. The ends of the pod may be cut before boiling or steaming.
The pods are then boiled in water or steamed. The most common preparation uses salt for taste. The salt may either be dissolved in the boiling water before introducing the soybean pods, or it may be added after the pods have been cooked. Boiled soybean pods are usually served after cooling/freezing, but can also be served hot.
Other condiments can also be used. Jiuzao (Chinese: 酒糟; pinyin: jiǔzāo; literally "wine dregs"), made from the highly fermented grain residue left over from the distilling of rice wine, can be used to add fragrance and flavor. Some recipes also call for Sichuan pepper for taste. Five-spice powder can also be used for flavoring.
Along with eating the beans whole, they can be served as a dip. Packets of seasoning for edamame dip can be found in many Asian/Oriental sections of food markets.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||448 kJ (107 kcal)|
|- Sugars||3 g|
|- Dietary fiber||6 g|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.2 mg (17%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.3 mg (25%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||1.1 mg (7%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.6 mg (12%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg (15%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||358 μg (90%)|
|Vitamin C||11.4 mg (14%)|
|Vitamin K||37 μg (35%)|
|Calcium||71 mg (7%)|
|Iron||2.5 mg (19%)|
|Magnesium||72 mg (20%)|
|Manganese||1.2 mg (57%)|
|Phosphorus||190 mg (27%)|
|Potassium||569 mg (12%)|
|Zinc||1.6 mg (17%)|
|Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.|
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
- ^ History of Edamame, Green Vegetable Soybeans, and Vegetable-Type Soybeans (1275-2009)
- ^ USDA government article about edamame.
- ^ "Edamame nutrition profile (frozen, unprepared)". http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9872/2. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
- ^ Simonne, A. H.; Smith, M.; Weaver, D. B.; Vail, T.; Barnes, S.; Wei, C. I. (2000). "Retention and Changes of Soy Isoflavones and Carotenoids in Immature Soybean Seeds (Edamame) during Processing". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48 (12): 6061–9. doi:10.1021/jf000247f. PMID 11141271.