In Japan, edamame is traditionally boiled in heavily salted water and then eaten straight from the pod. It’s basically the potato chips of Japan, healthy snack that’s often ordered with a beer in Izakayas (Japanese pubs).
Like potato chips, they’re easy to gussy up by stir-frying them with spices and seasonings. This Spicy Edamame is flavored with pungent chunks of crispy garlic and has a well-balanced heat thanks to the addition of both black pepper and chili peppers. Paired with your favorite beverage, they make for an addictive snack, that’s perfect for game days and movie nights.
Why this recipe works
- A blend of black pepper and chili peppers gives the edamame two different kinds of heat. The chili peppers lend an immediate pop of heat in your mouth, while the black pepper is fragrant, and offers a slow lingering heat.
- The olive oil draws out the heat from the two types of pepper and coats each edamame pod evenly.
- Crushing the garlic before chopping it gives it more surface area to brown and helps the pieces to stick to the pods.
Ingredients for Spicy Edamame
- Edamame – I’ve used pre-cooked frozen edamame that has been defrosted for this recipe. You can use fresh edamame, but you will need to boil them first.
- Garlic – Two large cloves may sound like a lot, but you want enough garlic in here that every edamame has a few bits of crisp garlic clinging onto the pod.
- Whole Black Peppercorns – Black pepper (like any spice) starts losing its potency and aroma as soon as its ground, so while the pre-ground stuff will work, it won’t taste nearly as good as freshly cracking the peppercorns yourself. I usually do this in a mortar with a pestle, but if you don’t have one, you can pulse it a few times in a food processor or blender, or you can put it in a zipper bag and pound the bag with something heavy, like a pot, or rolling pin.
- Crushed Chili Flakes – I used crushed red pepper flakes (the kind you use on pizza), but any pepper flakes you have on hand will work, or you can crush your own dried chilies. Alternatively, you can use a chili paste, like doubanjiang, or sambal oelek. Just be aware that these contain salt, so you may need to reduce the salt you add.
- Salt – I used flaky sea salt for this, but any form of salt, like soy sauce, fish sauce, or oyster sauce, will work while changing its flavor.
How to make Spicy Edamame
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to smash the garlic. You can do this with the side of a knife, or any heavy object like a pot or rolling pin. This should make the skin fall off. Then you can chop the garlic into rough chunks.
For the black peppercorns, use a mortar and pestle, or pulse them in a food processor or blender to roughly crack them.
To make the edamame, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat until it’s hot and add the olive oil and garlic. Saute the garlic until it’s fragrant and starting to brown around the edges.
Add the cooked (and defrosted) edamame and stir-fry until the edamame has been warmed through.
Sprinkle on the cracked black pepper, crushed chili flakes, and salt, and toss the mixture together until everything is evenly distributed. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If you want to get a little fancier, you can garnish the Spicy Edamame with some chopped herbs, like cilantro, or chives.
Other Edamame Recipes
- Kenchinjiru (Vegetarian Japanese Soup)
- How to make fresh edamame
- Miso Soup
Edamame is the Japanese word for immature soybeans. The whole pods are typically boiled in well-salted water and then eaten either hot or at room temperature.
E-da-ma-me has four syllables, and each one is pronounced as follows:
1) e like enter
2) da like dot
3) ma like mom
4) me like men
The pods of edamame are not edible, so the most common way of eating edamame is to bite the pod with your front teeth, which will cause the soybeans inside to pop out of the pod and into your mouth. This method keeps your hands relatively clean while allowing you to enjoy the flavoring on the outside of the pod.
“Good for you” is totally subjective, but edamame is loaded with fiber, protein, and minerals while being relatively low in bad carbs (i.e., sugar), so it can be a great addition to a balanced diet.
Most frozen edamame has been precooked, so check the instructions on the packaging. If they are raw, you’ll need to boil them in heavily salted water for 5-7 minutes to cook them before making this recipe. Check out my fresh edamame recipe for more details.
It wouldn’t be edamame anymore, but the seasoning and method in this recipe will work for almost any vegetables. I love doing this with fava beans, snap peas, green beans, and even carrots.
garlic (2 large cloves)
edamame (precooked edamame)
dried chili flakes
whole black peppercorns (crushed)
salt (to taste)
Smash the garlic and then remove the peel and roughly chop it up.
Use a mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor to crush the black peppercorns.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant and starting to brown.
Add the edamame and toss to coat with the oil.
When the edamame has been reheated, add the chili flakes, crushed black pepper, and salt. Toss, to coat the soybeans evenly and serve immediately.