Despite the exotic-sounding name, edamame is found all over Tennessee. It’s nothing more than soybeans still in the pod. They’re picked early, before they fully ripen, and in typical preparation, they’re boiled, steamed or microwaved. Add some salt to the outer shell, and you’re no longer eating just a plain old soybean. It has now been transformed into something that tastes much better than soybeans from the pod sounds. The more appetizing term may appear difficult to pronounce, but it’s not. Ed-uh-mom-may. Simple.
This dish is often served as an appetizer, and the USDA touts it as “a snack with a nutritional punch.” Since I discovered my love for this simple dish, it’s often what I reach for instead of potato chips. Edamame is found in frozen foods sections year round. Preparation is as simple as throwing the unopened bag in the microwave.
Eating edamame feels refreshing. There’s something about eating the fresh beans directly from the shell that makes me reminiscent of eating green beans fresh from my great-grandmother’s garden when I was a kid. It’s rare when healthful eating and gourmet dining align themselves just perfectly, and those are the moments when I find a renewed joy in relishing each bite of what I’m eating instead of just going through the motions.
As spring gets closer, I’m finding myself wanting to eat fresher, healthier, more natural foods. And it doesn’t get any simpler than fresh soybeans straight from the pod.