Why should we eat edamame?

Edamame is a popular snack in countries like Japan, China, Korea and Hawaii. All of us know the goodness about soy products – be it soy milk or tofu, we know that its so right for your body (ofcourse when eaten in moderation). Coming from a similar family is edamame.Soy is a wonder food. A half cup of edamame has good amount of fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals in it. For vegetarians, eating it is one of the best way to pump up the iron levels. Edamame is nothing but immature soybeans in the pod. They are green in color and it is picked before the soy beans ripe.

Nutritional value (Source:Manufacturer’s packet)
1/2 cup of shelled edamame has 120 calories
  • 13 grams of carbohydrates
  • 11 grams of proteins
  • 9 grams of fiber
  • 2.5 grams of fat ( 1.5grams polysaturated fat and 0.5 gram monosaturated fat)

N, my good friend from middle school introduced me to edamame. It was during one of my visit to her house I tasted it for the first time. Since she is a health freak, her kitchen cabinets doesn’t carry any unhealthy greasy snacks, instead her guests are welcomed with baby carrots with organic maple syrup and cooked edamame with soy sauce as snacks. Thanks to her for letting me know about this bean.Trust me when I say this, edamame beans are so addictive and just with a dash of salt it tastes so good. It is definitely a yummy snack to serve your kids. It tastes like white kidney beans – nutty and creamy. My son loves edamame and every time he catches me munching few beans, he would take one in each hand and sit by the stairs to admire its shape, color and chew it with his bunny teeth and slide them into his tummy with the toothless gum at the back of his mouth. Then he would walk towards me for more. Soy products have isoflavones, they are phytoestrogen found in red clover tea as well and they protect your body against cancer, heart diseases and kidney problems. Isn’t a good thing to give to your little ones? Think about it.

I continued eating it during my pregnancy too. This nutritious bean is sure to nourish your growing fetus. Since I had gestational diabetes, cooked edamame was something I could trust on for mid day hungrypangs. Just take a bowl full, sit by the couch, peel the shell, watch TV and eat.  Edamame has equal amount of protein and carbohydrates. Remember it’s a snack so eat accordingly. My dietician suggested to eat edamame often as they help to reduce insulin resistance in people diagnosed with diabetes. The isoflavones in edamame reduces the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol. Don’t you want that?

Where can you find them?

They are parboiled and quick-frozen to retain their freshness and natural flavour.  Hence they are sold cooked, you just have to thaw it or may be microwave it for couple of minutes on high before you eat. They are sold either shelled or with the pods. You can locate them in the freezer section of your supermarket. I shop edamame from Costco, Savemart, Safeway, Trader Joe, Whole foods.  I always have a bag or two in my freezer. You can use them in your cooking too. Add a handful to your dhaal/ pulao/ omelet / curry / chaat or make a hummus out of it, there are endless possibilities. Since I am lazy, I prefer to eat them as such. I don’t have the time to sit and shell it first and then make a dish out of it. Instead I eat them as such. They taste pretty good that way. If I am hungry around 7.00PM , a time that hangs between snack and dinner time, I eat a bowl of edamame and that way I can atleast avoid headaches/ tiredness due to hunger.

How to eat it?

Once it is cooked, remove the beans like you do for peanuts. Cut the ends and press the bean to pop out from the end, once there’s a small opening, peel them open and remove the beans and eat. You could also squeeze the beans directly from the pods into the mouth with your fingers.  Keep repeating the process until you are done 🙂


Serves 2


  • 1 cup edamame in pods
  • A dash of salt optional
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Microwave


  1. Remove the beans from the packaging. Place in a bowl and microwave at high for 2-3 minutes.
  2.  Sprinkle salt and serve.

Additional notes:

  1. Edamame can be eaten as snack in all the three phases of South beach diet and also for those who are on a weightloss journey.
  2. It is an ideal snack for women with gestational diabetes and also for individuals who are prediabetic/ diabetic
  3. You can make a “sundal” (South Indian snack) with edamame – can be tempered with mustards seeds, dry red chilly, pinch of asafoetida and little coconut powder.

Update on 04.11.2012

We had an informative discussion in facebook today and I am tempted to update my post with a key information Sadhana Ginde, Indian editor for Bella Online.com shared with us. I would call her a walking encyclopedia, she can talk about anything under the sky and her views definitely opens up many thought provoking conversation among our FB friends. Thanks S for the lovely insights. So my dear readers please read through her views and let me know your thoughts as well.

Sadhana Ginde: “But I also must caution you here — as much as I love soybeans, tofu & soy milk. These are all products that cause a natural increase in the body’s estrogen. This is great for women & especially menopausal women! But soy is also used in many other products as a extra protein source such as garden burgers, cookies, snacks, cereals & many bars. That being said, too much soy = too much estrogen in kids of any age. But this is not good for little boys & little girls! Studies have shown in kids especially lactose intolerant kids who use a lot of soy in their diets — the boys have delayed onset of puberty & for girls — too early!  

So you may ask — what about people in Asia who have been eating large amounts of soy for centuries? It appears their bodies have evolved over time to process these large amounts of soy. Also, their soy products are all natural. The ones produced here in the US are “enhanced”.
So is it okay for your kids to eat edamame, have a glass of soy milk, eat tofu…. ? Yes, but not daily 3x! They are already getting a lot of soy in their diet through other foods, so no need to add more. You may not believe me & that’s ok! But I am a science researcher (cancer) and there are many available studies & data on the internet as well. Thanks for your time, but many people dont know this! Well this came into light about a decade ago because young 7-8 yrs girls had already started their “ladies days” 🙁 So just an FYI folks!)”

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  1. I have recently discovered so many new sources of protien – Endamame, Baby lima Beans, Chia Seeds etc. Since we are vegetarians, the only source we get is from mung and other lentils which is not sufficient in such a busy life. So I use the other sources of protien. Where do you live?


  2. Just love this steamed edamames,havent had them since a long..

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