Few things are as delicious and easy to prepare as edamame (boiled or steamed fresh soybeans). These are the beans in pods that are brought to you as an appetizer at some of the better Japanese restaurants in town. They are sprinkled with some good sea salt and you place the whole bean pod in your mouth while holding the stem end and you gently extract the beans and chew on them while you discard the bean pod. The soy beans should have some pop to them if your beans are fresh and a nice flavor that is enhanced by the salt.
I found these nice fresh, locally grown soy beans at Fresh Field in Market!Market! a few days ago (uncooked soybeans in second photo up above; notice that there isn’t much change to color in the cooked version, a sign of really fresh beans and just the right cooking time). They cost PHP65 for a medium sized plastic container that could easily serve 3 as an appetizer. Back home, I had to wash the soy beans in several changes of water to ensure that no soil or sand was included in the boiled bean pods…partifularly since you put the whole pod in your mouth. Boil up some water or prepare a steamer and cook the soy beans for 6-7 minutes or until just tender. Plunge beans into a cold bath to retain the appetizing color (they tend to turn an unappealing olive color if overcooked). Sprinkle with some good kosher or sea salt and serve. Remember to put out an extra bowl for the empty bean pods. Good snacking, highly nutritious and great taste!