Fuzzy Beans: Edamame


Edamame pods grow in pairs. As alike as two beans in a pod! My three edamame plants yielded a good snack for two—next year I’ll double the number. I might be a jack of all trades, but not a master of gardening. I put in more than a dozen seeds, but maybe the soil was too cold, or some little critter had a snack. If only I could ask Jack about his mighty beanstalk!

Constructed in 1967ContemporaryAs a young toddler, my daughter always pointed to the first letter of her name displayed prominently over a local shopping mall. Arborland was Ann Arbor’s first mall, built in the early 1960’s. Its most notable feature was, and is, a tall illuminated sign with a giant letter “A” welcoming visitors to town. It was an open mall which featured Federal Department Store and Crowley’s.

Jack and the Beanstalk Kerrytown
photo courtesy of Courney
from Two Straight Lines

An outside wall of the Montgomery Ward store was famous for its 7 foot by 40 foot tile mural with scenes from the Jack and the Beanstalk, designed by Louis G. Redstone. During the 1970s, Arborland was enclosed and the mural was still visible inside on the wall of Burlington Coat Factory. Little Tess was one of the many children who always took a look way, way up trying to see Jack climbing to the sky (the top of the mural was cut off by the ceiling). By the late 1990’s Arborland had lost it’s gloss and most of it’s tenants. A developer razed most of the structure, transforming it into a big-box cluster. O’Neil Construction owner, Joe O’Neil rescued the mural and you can see it now at Kerrytown.

Edamame (枝豆?) (English pronunciation: /ˌɛdəˈmɑːmeɪ/) Daizu in Japanese. Edamame, (Glycine max L.) are specialty varieties of soybeans harvested in the green stage. Also known as: vegetable-type soybeans, green vegetable soybeans, sweet beans, green soybeans, edible green soybeans, green vegetable soybeans, immature green soybeans, green immature soybeans, immature soybeans, garden soybeans, garden-type soybeans, garden soys, branch beans, ect.
To read a History of Edamame, Green Vegetable Soybeans, and Vegetable-Type Soybeans from 1275 to present visit this site.

Edamame can be used in salads, stir fry dishes, soups, and dips. But they are most fun to eat as fingerfood. Rinse the pods, boil water (salt it if you like), and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, and cool the pods on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt. Eat. Using your thumb and forefinger, squeeze the cooked beans from their pod into your mouth and enjoy! (discard the pods)


15 thoughts on “Fuzzy Beans: Edamame

    • Hi Elra,
      Oh, yes! Sally is a lovely caring person.
      Happy that you came by, and I hope you find my blog interesting and useful. Welcome.

    • Hmm… I think I bought them at Meijers, which is a local chain of stores here in Michigan (central U.S.) which sells a bit of everything including groceries. Sort of like a ‘super Target.’ The packet says “Livinstone Seeds.”
      I’m not sure I’d ever seen them before this year. Easy to grow (except if critters find them).

  1. Hi Tess,
    Oh, I LOVE Edamame! I always start out a Sushi or Sashimi meal with them. My local Japanese market has them frozen, in a big bag like frozen broccoli! I can’t think about summer in Japan without Edamame and Mugicha barley tea, or a nice cold beer!

  2. Hey Tess, I am hooked on Mugi-cha. It’s roasted barley, has no caffeine, and has a slightly smoky flavor. I buy the House brand that are just big tea bags that you throw into a picture of cold water, and wait for about an hour.
    I’ve never had it hot, it’s pretty much a summer time drink.
    Any Japanese market should have it. Enjoy!

  3. I’ll keep an eye out for it: sounds good.

    J has gotten me drinking genmaicha: green tea with roasted brown rice. I have never been much of a tea drinker before.

  4. As I said, I’ve not been much of a tea drinker. But a quick google and hojicha sounds interesting. Mr. Tess is the tea drinker—maybe he’ll try it and let me taste. For all I know, maybe he even has some!

  5. Lovely bean story. I’ve resisted making a pun. Restraint though it not be my middle name. I love the tesselated mural…whoops – see a pun has snuck in anyway…Wouldn’t it be nice to have that tile picture recreated in your kitchen behind the cooker? Small scale though. (-:
    I love edamame too – almost any way.

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