Why you should make this recipe
Edamame might be something you forget about until you're at a sushi restaurant. But it's so easy to make, you should enjoy it at home more often! Frozen edamame is quick cooking, extremely versatile, inexpensive, and high in protein.
This spicy sesame edamame has saved me on more occasions than I can count. It's salty, spicy, and finger-licking good. Speaking from personal experience, here's when you really(!!) need to make this edamame recipe when:
- You're craving a salty snack but also want to keep things healthy
- You want to meal prep some plant-based protein for the week
- You're in charge of the appetizer at a dinner with family or friends and you...
- a) want to bring a crowd-pleasing vegan option
- b) didn't plan far in advance
- c) have almost zero time to prep
- d) want something easy but that also looks impressive
Edamame is often served sprinkled with salt. I like to jazz it up by tossing the edamame pods in toasted sesame oil, Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese 7 Spice), sesame seeds, and salt. All it takes is 5 ingredients to make this recipe!
What is Shichimi Togarashi?
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice) is a highly versatile Japanese spice blend. It's made from chili, sesame seeds, citrus, seaweed and a few other savory ingredients—usually 7 ingredients total! Growing up, we always had a small glass shaker bottle of Schichimi Togarashi in our cupboard. It's delicious sprinkled on soups, noodles, rice, and basically anywhere you want to add spicy umami seasoning.
You can buy Schichimi Togarashi at most well stocked grocery stores—otherwise head to your closest Asian grocer. It's often packaged in a small glass bottle with a red lid. Or, if you prefer, you could also make your own homemade blend. Some brands are spicier than others, so taste as you go and add in small increments. It's always easier to add more spice than to take it out!
How to cook frozen edamame
Frozen edamame from the grocery store has already been partially cooked (blanched), before getting frozen and packaged. So at home, you really don't need to cook frozen edamame for long.
We recommend the boiling method for cooking frozen edamame. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then add the frozen edamame pods and cook until bright green (4 to 5 minutes). If you're cooking shelled edamame (just the beans, no pods)—then budget even less cooking time. If in doubt, read the package instructions. But, be wary of instructions that tell you to boil edamame for much longer than 5 minutes—it isn't usually necessary and they'll get mushy when overcooked.
To season the edamame, this recipe calls for tossing the hot drained edamame in toasted sesame oil, Schichimi Togarashi, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes to make—and the combination is delicious!
Often we'll serve a big bowl of this spiced edamame and let guests have at it. We're always surprised at how quickly it disappears! Here are some other ideas for how to enjoy this sesame spiced edamame:
- Add them to this Spring Roll Salad noodle bowl
- Serve them with these Miso Glazed Eggplant Skewers
- Pair them with this Sesame Soba Noodle Salad (both recipes can be made in advance and are very picnic/potluck friendly!)
- Divide the edamame into small portable containers for a snack on-the-go
Frequently asked questions
Yes, edamame beans are young (immature) soybeans. They are soybeans that have been harvested when they are tender and still green. Edamame are often sold frozen in pods, but they are also available shelled (removed from the pods). To prepare edamame for eating, they are usually quickly boiled or steamed for less than 5 minutes.
Soybeans that are left to ripen turn into hard dry beans, usually yellow in color. To prepare mature soybeans for eating, they are usually boiled for many hours and sometimes fermented.
We love the crunchy texture of coarse salt on top of edamame. If you don't have coarse salt, the next best substitute would be flaky salt. Otherwise, you can substitute with kosher salt or sea salt.
The pod itself is fibrous and tough—it isn't usually eaten. To separate the beans from the pod, hold one end of the pod between your index finger and thumb. While holding the end, put the rest of the pod in your mouth and use your teeth to slide the beans out of the pod. You'll taste the flavors of the seasonings as you do this! Discard the empty pods in a small bowl.
Sesame Spiced Edamame
- 4 cups frozen edamame in pods ((1) 17 oz / 500 g bag)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Shichimi Togarashi (see note 1)
- ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (black or white)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Boil edamame: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium-high heat. Add edamame and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain edamame.
- Season edamame: Transfer edamame to a large bowl. Add sesame oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Shichimi Togarashi, sesame seeds, and salt. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings (see note 2).
- Shichimi Togarashi: A Japanese spice blend that typically includes red chili pepper, sesame seeds, orange peel ginger, seaweed, and a few other ingredients. Shichimi is often sold in small cylindrical glass containers (often with a red lid). Look for it at Asian markets, at well stocked grocery stores, or online. Adjust amount based on your spice preference.
- Storage/make ahead tips: Store extras in an airtight container for up to 4 days. The salt granules will dissolve over time, so season with salt just before eating, if you can. Edamame can be eaten warm or cold. Once refrigerated, we recommend just enjoying them cold!