Edamame, A Summer Staple

World-renowned by their Japanese name, edamame are immaturesoybeans harvested with a part of theirstem attached, a staple in the Japanese summer

  • Edamame, A Summer Staple
  • Edamame, A Summer Staple
  • Edamame, A Summer Staple

Edamame is the Japanese name for soybeans harvested when they are still young and soft, from May to late October, now a popular snack all around the world. Gunma prefecture accounts for approximately 28% of the domestic production, followed by Akita (24%) and Yamagata (12%).
Some varieties of soybeans need to mature before they can be harvested, whereas others are suitable to be picked before maturation. New types were created in order to increase the size, quantity and quality of the beans.
Edamame were presumably eaten already during the Nara period (710-794)or the Heian period (794-1185). There also exist written references of their being presented as gifts during the Kamakura period(1185-1333). Duringthe Edo period (1603-1868),in the summertime,street vendors would peddle soybeans still attached to the twig, then boiled and soldto people who would snack on them while walking. Originally, they were called edazuki mame, literally “beans on a twig”, which was later shortened into the present day form edamame.
The colour of the pod is important, and bright-green is most desirableshade. Ripeness induces a reduction in the content ofsugar (responsible for the distinctive flavour and sweetness of edamame), amino acids and ascorbic acid.
The most popular way of preparing edamame is to boil and salt them. They are a popular snack in bars, especially paired with beer and drinks. The high protein content of soybeans will reduce the toxic effects of alcohol.
In Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures, edamame are boiled and reduced to a jam, which is used to make the famous zunda-mochi, edamame-flavoured rice cakes.
What is unexpectedly unknown is the great nutritional value of boiled edamame. Boiling is the tastiest fashion of preparing edamame and it is incredibly easy, too.  All you have to do is rinse the edamame cut both ends of the pods and rub them in salt. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the edamame and boil for about three minutes. When they are cooked,you shouldstrain and sprinkle them with salt to coat. Do not try to cool them by spraying them with cold water. That would only make them soggy. Grab a nice, cold beer and you are settled. Enjoy!

Author : The Slowear Journal


edamame  | soybeans  | food  | Japanese  | healthy  |

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