This is a really quick win to serve with your martinis. Edamame are a staple Japanese drinking snack, ubiquitous in Izakaya establishments.
They’re fresh, easy to prepare, you can cook them from frozen and they’re really healthy. They’re also deliciously moreish and you can customise them with all sorts of toppings.
They are soy beans, and with this method you serve them in their pods, but you can also pre-pop them as in the photo below if you want to. This is more effort though and also denies you the opportunity for tasty seasonings because they don’t stick to the beans in the same way they stick to the pods.
They are bright green so they can make an attractive colour alternative to any other snacks you are serving alongside a martini. Let’s be honest, a lot of drinking snacks come in the beige variety (nuts, crackers, crisps etc) so this is a vibrant alternative.
I have also been told that edamame beans contain an enzyme that helps your body break down alcohol. I’m not sure about the science behind that but I’m going to run with it regardless.
If you keep them in your freezer (near the gin and glasses perhaps) you can whip this together in five minutes.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil over a high heat. Add the number of edamame pods you want to prepare (200g / 7oz would be a suitable amount for a side dish to share).
If you’re adding the edamame from frozen the temperature change will likely take the water off the boil. Allow it to return to the boil again, then cook for an additional two-three minutes.
Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve or colander in the sink and run cold water over the bean pods, making sure you cover them all and stop them from cooking any further. This will also help keep them a nice bright colour.
Shake the sieve or colander to remove as much excess water as possible then add the pods to a wide bowl or other dish. Sprinkle over a generous amount of good quality salt and lightly mix so the pods are roughly coated. Flakes of sea salt work very well.
You can also add all sorts of additional flavourings such as furikake, chilli powder or any other kinds of seasonings that you think might go well with them. Flavoured salts also work very well. If you have any suggestions please share in the comments below.
Serve the edamame pods, and place another dish nearby for the shells for when you have eaten the soy beans from inside.
They’re quite easy to eat. Take a pod to your mouth. You might need to apply a little bit of gentle pressure to the pod with your fingers to crack open the natural seam, then you can pop the beans into your mouth, making sure your lips and possibly tongue come into contact with the bean pod so you get a taste of the seasoning.
Toss aside the empty shells.
Edamame are typically served with beer but they go very well with a martini as well. It’s an ideal healthy choice for a less than healthy beverage.