Field to Fork Edamame!

(FN1836, Reviewed March 2022)
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Field to Fork is a program to provide information about growing, transporting, processing and preserving specialty-crop fruits and vegetables safely.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Other Authors

Paige Halsted, Dietetic Intern (former)

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Edamame, or “green soybeans,” are soybeans harvested at an early stage of development. Edamame is especially popular in Japan, Korea and China, and it is increasingly popular in the U.S.

Growing and Harvesting

Sow edamame seeds after the last frost in warm soil. Plant seeds 2 inches apart, 1 inch deep, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Harvest pods before they fully ripen, which is when they are plump and just beginning to lose their brightest green. Most pods ripen at the same time, at about 80 days.


For best quality, use edamame within two to three days of harvesting. Store fresh edamame in a refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag or freeze as described. Properly frozen edamame will retain its flavor and quality up to 12 months. Refrigerate recipes containing edamame and use within four days.


Edamame pods may be boiled in water, steamed or microwaved. To cook, bring a pot of water with added salt to a boil. Add the edamame pods. Return the water to a boil and cook uncovered about five minutes, then drain thoroughly. To steam, follow the included directions under “Drying.” To microwave, place in a microwave-safe dish, add a small amount of water and microwave in one-minute increments until pods are tender. After cooking, sprinkle with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese or spices as desired. Serve hot or cold.

Be sure to provide a container that guests can use for discarding the pods after shelling.



Fill a large stockpot with water. Stir in approximately 1 tablespoon of salt for every gallon of water. Heat to a rapid boil. Fill a large bowl with water and add ice. Place a towel flat on the table or countertop near the bowl. Label gallon- or quart-sized zip-top freezer bags with the date using a permanent marker or pen. Place the fresh edamame in a strainer, colander or cooking basket. Immerse the strainer with edamame into the boiling water for approximately three minutes. Begin timing as soon as the beans are in the water, not when the water returns to a boil. Remove the strainer of edamame from the boiling water and plunge it into the bowl of ice water for a few minutes; remove and shake off excess water. Place the edamame on the paper towels and dry quickly. Put the desired amount of edamame into each labeled freezer bag and freeze immediately.

Learn more about freezing vegetables in the NDSU Extension Service publication “Freezing Vegetables” (FN187) at www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/freezing-vegetables.


Drying: Fill a stockpot with about 2 to 3 inches of water and fit the steamer basket into the pot. Make sure the water does not touch the underside of the basket. Place the edamame pods in the steamer basket and distribute them evenly. Steam the edamame on high for five to seven minutes. Remove the steamer basket and allow the edamame to cool for two to three minutes.

• Oven drying: Preheat the oven to 140 F. Shell the edamame by holding the top of an edamame pod in one hand as you squeeze from top to bottom with your other hand, dropping the edamame into a bowl. Spread the edamame in a single layer on cookie sheets and sprinkle them with salt. Place cookie sheets into the oven and leave the door ajar 2 to 3 inches. Dry the edamame for eight to 10 hours, turning them every few hours with a spatula to dry them thoroughly. Remove the edamame from the oven and store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

• Dehydrator drying: Follow the directions of the dehydrator manufacturer.


One-half cup of shelled edamame provides 120 calories, 9 grams (g) fiber, 2.5 g fat, 11 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate and 15 milligrams sodium. Edamame provides vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and other vitamins and minerals.


Key to abbreviations

c. = cup oz. = ounce g = gram

tsp. = teaspoon lb. = pound mg = milligram

Tbsp. = tablespoon

Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension
Three Bean Salad

1½ c. frozen shelled edamame

¼ c. olive oil

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

½ c. chopped red onion

2 c. thinly sliced celery

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

½ c. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Cook edamame in a 1½- to 2-quart saucepan of boiling salted water, uncovered, four minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Heat oil in a small, heavy skillet over moderately low heat until hot but not smoking, then cook cumin, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 30 seconds. Pour into a large heatproof bowl. Add edamame and remaining ingredients to cumin oil and toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes for flavors to blend.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 180 calories, 8 g fat, 8 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber and 260 mg sodium.

Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension
Edamame Hummus

1½ c. frozen shelled edamame

¼ c. tahini*

¼ c. water

½ tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

1 lemon juiced

1 clove garlic, smashed

¾ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. coriander

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Boil the edamame in salted water for four to five minutes or microwave, covered, for two to three minutes. In a food processor, puree the edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the parsley and drizzle with remaining oil. Serve with vegetables or crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.

*Tahini is sesame seed paste that is available in many grocery stores. You might find it with condiments or in the ethnic foods section. Sometimes tahini is found in the refrigerated section with deli items.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 100 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 2 g fiber and 150 mg sodium.

Garlic-Chile Edamame

Garlic-Chile Edamame
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension
Garlic-Chile Edamame

1 lb. frozen edamame

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic

½ Tbsp. lime juice

Salt to taste

Cook 1 pound of frozen edamame in the pods in salted boiling water until tender, about five minutes, then drain well. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, one to two minutes. Stir in the edamame, lime juice and salt.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 70 calories, 3.5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 2 g fiber and 120 mg sodium.

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