Edible soybean, called Edamame in Japan and Mao Dou in China, are grown to harvest the young green-shelled beans which are eaten fresh - unlike the hard dry mature beans used to make soy milk and tofu. In East Asia, the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein.
To retain the freshness and natural flavour, the beans are parboiled and quick-frozen before packaging for sale. Eat edamame as a snack, tossed through salads, in soups or sometimes processed into sweets. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers - good with beer!
Edamame is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. It is an especially important source of protein for those who follow a plant-based diet.