Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Edamame: The Healthy Beer Snack

If you are not familiar with Edamame, You really should try them out. Edamame or soy bean pods have so much going for them that I don't quite know where to start. I have just finished gorging myself on a huge bowl of them that was supposed to be an appetizer, but now, I guess it was dinner, as well as inspiration. Instead feeling heavy and guilty over a huge bowl of chips and cheesy bean dip or, my personal favorite, My Chicken Liver Pate with crackers and Swedish Mustard Dill Sauce, I feel light on my feet, healthy and very satisfied.

Edamame is not only delicious, but fun to eat....with beer! If you have not ever tried them in a Japanese restaurant....with a Kirin... as a before sushi appetizer, let me tell you how to enjoy them best....with beer. Being finger food,

take one in your fingers, hold onto the stem part and place the pod in between your teeth and gently maneuver out the beans that are inside. Toss out the pod, after sucking off all of the salt, and slugging down some beer. It is a bit like eating fresh artichokes. The flavors are of buttery beans with salt, texture is sometimes creamy and at times has a little crunch. Tasty treats. They also travel well, kind of like green eggs and ham, they can be tossed into a Ziploc and eaten while on hikes, eaten on the patio, in front of the TV.... well, you get the idea. Don't forget the beer cooler.

Edamame is very healthy. It is low in calories, high in fiber, is a "soy" product in it's most natural state, completely organic, no GMO soy beans here. The following link is one article that I found to be very informative on the health benefits of edamame, check it out if you want. WebMD - The Secret of Edamame

As far as preparation, nothing is quite as easy as boiling water now is it? That is about all of the necessary cooking skills that you will need to enjoy this taste treat, besides going to the store and buying beer. Speaking of, Liquorita Carlitos in downtown Boquete next to the Accel station carries Kirin Beer from Japan now. Kirin beer is well worth the trip and small splurge for the perfect match up. For a nice non-booze match up, I like ginger ale. Here is the recipe, for Edamame that is:

Steamed or Boiled Edamame

1/2 to 1 pound of fresh Edamame pods, washed.
Salt, preferably Kosher or Sea Salt.
Bring a largish pot of water to boil.

To Steam: Place pods in steamer and place it in the pot and cover. I like them best steamed, it keeps more of the nutrition intact, rather than boiling them out.. Steam for about 10 minutes or till tender.

To Boil: Place pods in boiling water. Add salt to water if you want. Boil for about 10 minutes or till tender.

After the steam or boil, add salt to taste and open a cold beer. Put on a good CD or old TV show, for those who know us well, you know it is M*A*S*H and eat. They are good hot, warm or chilled.


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