Only recently available in Italy, these green soy beans are already a fixture of every Asian cuisine lover's menu, thanks to their delicate taste and their nutritional value. Rich in protein (11g out of 100) and vitamin E and C, they are an excellent snack for every occasion.
An iconic presence in Edo era street food, they were cooked and sold with the stalk, hence the name edamame, from eda 枝 (stalk) and mame 豆 (bean). In contemporary Japan they are often eaten along with alcoholic beverages, especially beer. A good alternative to your typical chips and nuts.
Furthermore, recently Bandai has been selling an anti-stress key chain shaped like an edamame pod. Here you can see the full, hilarious TV ad.
In the US, where edamame can be found since the last century, the veggie is included in a variety of recipes, including a McDonald salad and a Starbucks wrap.
In Italy they can be bought frozen in most large supermarkets, or occasionally found fresh in ethnic food stores. In order to preserve their qualities, edamame should be steamed in their pods for a few minutes and served warm and salted. In Japan a natural sea salt, arajio, is used.
Here you can see the recipe by famous YouTube channel 'Cooking with the dog':
And here a fun version by 'Ochikeron':
Edamame is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes, as in an alternative version of pesto along with soy beans and almonds; or in salads. And what about an edamame veggie burger?
Here is an interesting recipe for edamame hummus: