How to Shop for Soy
•Edamame are fresh soybeans that look like bright green lima beans. Their flavor is sweet and mild, with a touch of “beaniness.” Edamame are found in the natural-foods freezer section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores, sold both in and out of the “pods.” One 10-ounce bag contains about 2 cups of shelled beans. Look for fresh ones at farmers’ markets or natural-foods stores.
• Miso is fermented soybean paste made by inoculating a mixture of soybeans, salt and grains (usually barley or rice) with koji, a beneficial mold. Akamiso (red miso), made from barley or rice and soybeans, is salty and tangy, and the most commonly used miso in Japan. Use in marinades for meat and oily fish, and in long-simmered dishes. Shiromiso (sweet or white miso), made with soy and rice, is yellow and milder in flavor; use for soup, salad dressings and sauces for fish or chicken. Look for it in the natural-foods section of most supermarkets and in Asian markets.
• Soy flour is made from mature soybeans that have been dried, hulled, split and ground into flour. The texture is denser than wheat flour and it has a pronounced flavor some describe as “beany.” It is available in both full-fat and defatted varieties. Look for soy flour in natural-foods stores.
• Soy nuts are mature soybeans that have been soaked then roasted, either in oil or using a dry-roasting process. Crunchy, with a texture like crumbly peanuts, they’re often creatively flavored.
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