How to Grow and Prepare Edamame

Updated on March 1, 2018
OldRoses profile image

Caren White is a Master Gardener and instructor at Home Gardeners School. She has been a volunteer at Rutgers Gardens for over a decade.

Source

A friend who was browsing a seed display asked me what edamame was. I explained that they are soy beans and that soy beans are used to make soy milk and tofu. But that explanation is not entirely correct.

What is edamame?

Edamame is a type of soy bean that is grown for its edible beans. The pods are harvested before they ripen unlike the soy beans you see growing in fields which are harvested after the pods ripen.

Edamame has been known and eaten for thousands of years in China and Japan. It is popular here in the US, especially among vegans, because of its nutritional content. The beans contain high levels of protein and other vital nutrients. The beans make a tasty snack, can be added to salads or substituted in recipes calling for peas. The pods are not edible.

How to grow edamame

Edamame is grown from seed direct sown in your garden. If you are concerned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms), you should be aware that 94% of the soy beans grown in the US are GMOs. Purchase non-GMO seeds from a trusted retailer. If you live within a few miles of a farm that is growing soybeans, sow your seeds at least two weeks after the farm has planted so that their plants will not cross-pollinate with yours.

Plant your seeds in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to at least 55⁰F. Plant them 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart in rows that are 2 feet apart. Since all of your plants will be ready for harvest at once, if you want a longer harvest, make successive sowings every 2 weeks until early July.

Keep your seedlings evenly moist. When they are 4 to 6 inches tall, thin them to 12 to 18 inches apart and add a 1 inch layer of mulch. After that, you only need to water them if the soil becomes very dry. The plants will reach a height of 2 to 3 feet, so you will need to either stake each plant individually or simply place stakes at either end of the rows and run string between the stakes to support the plants.

Edamame is not subject to disease. Very few insects bother the plants. You can throw a floating row cover over your plants if insects become a problem. By far the worst pests you will encounter will be the four legged kind such as groundhogs, rabbits and deer. Use the usual exclusion methods to keep them out of your garden.

The pods grow in bunches and ripen all at once
The pods grow in bunches and ripen all at once | Source

How to harvest edamame

Edamame pods grow in bunches on the plants. They are ready to be harvested when they are bright green and the beans inside are swollen and almost touching. There should be at least two beans per pod. All of the pods will ripen at the same time on each plant so you can safely pull up the entire plant. Harvest the beans and throw the plants into your compost. Soybeans are a legume so they are full of nitrogen. Alternatively, you can leave the plants in your garden as a green manure cover crop after harvesting the pods. You can expect each plant to yield 2 ½ pounds of pods.

How to store edamame

Edamame should be used right away after harvesting. The beans start losing their flavor within 10 hours of harvest. They remain edible for up to three days when refrigerated. They need humidity, so store them tightly wrapped in plastic or in plastic bags. The beans can also be frozen. Be sure to blanche them before freezing.

Edamame is usually boiled
Edamame is usually boiled | Source

How to prepare edamame

The beans are normally cooked in their pods and either boiled or steamed. To boil them, add the pods to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for five to six minutes until the pods become tender. If you are boiling frozen pods, cook them for one to two minutes. Frozen pods take less cooking time because they were blanched before freezing and therefore already partially cooked.

To steam your pods, fill a pot with one inch of water and heat to boiling. Insert a steam basket and steam the fresh pods for 5 to 10 minutes, frozen pods for 2 minutes.

You can microwave frozen pods. Use the high setting for 3 minutes. It is not recommended to microwave fresh pods.

You can pan sear fresh pods. Heat a frying pan and then on medium high heat, cook the pods until they are lightly charred. Turn them over and do the same thing to the other side.

Salted pods
Salted pods | Source

Edamame is normally served in the pods. The pods can be salted or have other seasonings added to them. Just push the beans out of the pods with your fingers directly into your mouth. Or you can serve the beans shelled, adding salt or seasonings to them as you wish.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Caren White

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 2 months ago

        A had the best edamame at a Thai restaurant served as an appetizer. They were lightly salted and had a mild spicy flavor. I didn't know they were so easy to fix. I'll have to try it soon.

      • OldRoses profile image
        Author

        Caren White 2 months ago from Franklin Park, NJ

        Great! Let me know how it goes.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        I love Edamame and we buy kilos of them for snacking. I will see what I can do about growing them.

      • OldRoses profile image
        Author

        Caren White 2 months ago from Franklin Park, NJ

        Jo, let me know how they turn out for you! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • profile image

        Jo Miller 2 months ago

        These sound easy to grow. I may need to try them.

      • OldRoses profile image
        Author

        Caren White 2 months ago from Franklin Park, NJ

        Enjoy! I'm going to try it myself.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 2 months ago from California

        I love edamame--and it seems not to difficult to grow--I will give it a try!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)