Edamame: These Are ‘Beans’ Packed With Protein

Thank goodness that not that long ago, some enterprising chef realized that the soy bean in its fresh form — aka edamame — is a fabulous food, and thereby started a new food craze.

Edamame is a green vegetable that's full of protein and a wonderful source for calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, foliate and iron.

These large beans come in a pod that looks like a pea pod, only bigger. They are harvested early in their growth cycle so the beans are still tender and green and haven't matured. The best way to use the edamame is to parboil them in lightly salted water, rinse, drain and cool, and then remove the bean from the pod.

When shopping for fresh edamame, choose pods that are plump, firm and don't have any spots or blemishes. You can keep the fresh edamame in the refrigerator for four to five days and the frozen stuff is just fine for three to four months in the freezer.

Edamame is very versatile: It's great eaten all by itself or in salads, soups, stir fry and pasta dishes — anywhere you want to add some protein. Fresh edamame is usually found at natural and higher-end produce sections or at farmers' markets. You can find the frozen kind in most grocery freezer sections.

Hoisen Beef and Edamame

3 Tbsps. lime juice
3 Tbsps. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsps. sesame oil
8 oz. steak, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 package (10 oz.) frozen shelled edamame (about 2 cups), thawed
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 lb. cooked and drained whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

In a bowl, combine the lime juice, hoisin sauce, garlic and cornstarch. Whisk to combine.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until it's done the way you like it.

Immediately transfer the steak to a plate using tongs but don't clean the pan. Add bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add edamame and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Add ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sauce mixture and beef to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the spaghetti; toss to coat. Top with cilantro.

Tip: Freezing the flank steak for about 20 minutes will make it easier to thinly slice.

Serves 4.

Garlic Edamame

1/2 cup water
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 packages (16 oz. each) frozen edamame
1/2 cup teriyaki or soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsps. sesame oil
1/2-1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked, drained
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Bring the water and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in the edamame, and cook until they are hot, and the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Stir constantly until the sauce has thickened and coats the edamame, about 4 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta, toss to combine and place the mixture in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 6 as a side dish or 4 as a main course.

Edamame and Corn Salad

2 quarts of water
1 package (16 oz.) frozen shelled edamame

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in medium saucepan on high heat. Add edamame; cook 4 minutes or until they are bright green and tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk to combine.

Add edamame, corn, red bell pepper, green onions, celery, black olives and parsley to dressing; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Toss before serving.

Serves 6.

Peppers Edamame and Quinoa

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsps. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
1 clove of garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 red onion, chopped
8-12 bib lettuce leaves

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and garlic. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, edamame, red pepper, raisins and onion. Mix to combine. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix together until completely coated.

To serve, place 2 lettuce leaves on each serving plate and spoon some of the quinoa mixture into each of them.

Serves 4 to 6.

Eileen Goltz is a freelance food writer and the author of Perfectly Pareve. Email her at: [email protected] Her blog address is: Cuisinebyeileen.wordpress.com.



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