Hand drawn image of Edamame beans

Edamame beans

Glycine max

For several years, edamame beans (the young beans of the soy plant) have been dubbed a 'superfood'. They have a delicate flavour that's usually best enjoyed by lightly boiling in their pods, salting, and picking out the beans one by one as a snack.

Image of Edamame beans being produced

In the kitchen


Edamame beans are best eaten as fresh as possible, but can be kept in their bag in the fridge for up to three days.

Prep & Cooking tips

Edamame beans need to be cooked before eating. Start by removing the pods from the stalk, then cut the very end tips of each pod away with a sharp knife (this allows the water to get to the beans more easily).

Boil or steam the whole pods for 5 minutes. Drain, refresh in a bowl of ice cold water, then pod and sprinkle with a little sea salt. The quickest way to pod, rather than splitting the edge of the pod open like broad beans, is to lightly press your thumb and first fingertips against the flatter edge of the pod. The beans will fly out, so keep the pods inside the bowl.

Alternatively, place the whole pods in a baking dish in just enough olive oil to coat, season and roast at 180°C /Gas 4 for approximately 15 mins, until just tender.

Easy ideas

  1. Snack Remove the pods from the stalk. Wash them, rub with good quality sea salt, then leave to season for 15 mins. Boil the entire pods in salted water for 3-4 mins, then drain and sprinkle with more sea salt. Or you can roast rather than boil the pods; they’ll take 10-15 mins in a hot oven. Pod as you eat; best enjoyed warm or at room temperature as a pre-dinner snack, perhaps with a cold beer.

  2. Salad Simply boil the pods as above and pop out the beans. Use them to bulk out or garnish a salad of your choice. An Asian-inspired salad seems the obvious choice; think plenty of crisp raw veg with a ginger, soy and chilli dressing. But you aren’t tied to any convention; the flavour of edamame doesn’t dominate or overpower, so you’d be hard pushed to find a salad that won’t be complemented or made all the more handsome.

Goes well with

Asian flavourings (Chilli, Ginger, Miso, Soy or tamari sauce)

Alliums (garlic, spring onions, red onions)

Brassicas & greens (broccoli, pak choi, kale & cabbage)

Herbs (Coriander & mint)

Acidic flavours (lemon, lime, rice vinegar)

Rice, noodles & pasta

Fish & seafood

Chicken & pork


Sesame seeds, cashews & peanuts

Edamame beans recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: John Walter-Symons , Holbeton, Devon

    John Walter-Symons runs Borough Farm near Holbeton; the rolling fields are filled with vegetables and cereal crops, as well as free-roaming organic sheep.



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