Bright-green edamame (soybeans) have been popular for centuries, appreciated for their sweet, mild and slightly “beany” flavor. Edamame were used as a vegetable in China as early as a few hundred years B.C. In Japan, edamame are often boiled in salty water still in their pods and served as bar food (the pods are inedible, but it’s fun to pop the beans out and eat them between sips of beer).
Edamame truly fits its “Miracle Bean” nickname. Not only does it contain all of the 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, but it is used in food products from soy sauce to soy milk, and in everything from animal feed to ink.
While edamame are most often associated with Asian cuisine, they’re versatile in dishes from around the globe. They add bright color to a Southern succotash and take kindly to French flavors as well.