Edamame | World’s Healthiest Snack Food

Edamame is the world’s healthiest snack food, enjoyed everywhere in Japan during the summer when it’s harvested ー and it’s my favorite Japanese appetizer by far ー but I also had a lot of questions about this amazing super bean:
★ How exactly do you eat them?
★ What’s the best way to cook them?
★ How are they grown? Harvested?
★ Why are they different than soy beans?
★ How healthy are they (really)?

To find all my EDAMAME answers, I traveled from Tokyo to Noda in Chiba prefecture to visit Yumeaguri Noda (ゆめあぐり野田), a farm run by Sekine-san. I toured his farm and learned how to eat edamame like professionals.

Edamame facts:
☆ There are over 50 varieties of edamame in Japan (according the the kinds of seeds sold by JA).
☆ Edamame are high in calcium, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals; low in sugar and fat and have almost no cholesterol.
☆ What does edamame mean? The word “edamame” in Japanese means (eda) stem / branch & (mame) bean.

WHAT EXACTLY IS EDAMAME?
It’s an immature soy bean. It’s harvested when still young then either boiled (for 4 minutes) or steamed with a little salt. It’s cooked in the pod and eaten by popping them out and into your mouth. Best enjoyed in Japan in the summer with beer.

WHEN IS THE BEST SEASON FOR FRESH EDAMAME?
It depends on the area. In TOKYO, it’s from June to August. In the north, it’s from July to September. You’ll find them in every supermarket for $3 to $5 a pack between June and September. Frozen edamame are available year round.
Noda city is called the “HOME OF EDAMAME” and worth a visit if you are a big edamame fan! It’s a 30 minute walk from Noda Station to Yumeaguri Noda ( ゆめあぐり野田 ) Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/9jXUQWXPqBm

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