|Boiled green fruit soybeans in the pod.|
Outside East Asia, the dish is most often found in Japanese restaurants and some Chinese restaurants but it also has found popularity elsewhere as a healthy food item. In the United States it is often sold in bags in the frozen food section of grocery stores.
The Japanese name, edamame (枝豆), is used commonly to refer to the dish.A It literally means, "twig bean" (eda = "twig" + mame = "bean"). Edamame is a popular side dish at Japanese izakaya restaurants with local varieties being in demand, depending on the season. Salt is a typical condiment for edamame. In Japan, arajio is the preferred salt, because it is a natural sea salt. This coarse salt is wet with brine, thus loaded with marine and mineral flavors.
The earliest documented reference to the term "edamame" dates from the year 1275, when the well-known Japanese monk, Nichiren, wrote a note thanking a parishioner for the gift of "edamame" he had left at the temple. Edamame appeared in haikai verse in Japanese in the Edo period (1603 – 1868), with one example as early as 1638. The earliest recorded usage in English of the word edamame is in 1951 in the journal Folklore Studies. Edamame appeared as a new term in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003, and in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2008. In the United States, specialty seed companies such as Wannamaker Seeds, created in 1998, helped to introduce the opportunity to grow edamame in the US for the US consumer. 
To effectively harvest edamame the pods should be picked by hand and not by machine to avoid stems and leaves.  Green soybeans in the pod are picked before they ripen in order to prepare edamame. The ends of the pod may be cut before boiling or steaming.
Then the pods are boiled in water, steamed or microwaved. The most common preparation uses salt for taste. The salt may either be dissolved in the boiling water before introducing the soybean pods, or it may be added after the pods have been cooked. Fresh edamame should be blanched first before being frozen.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||509 kJ (122 kcal)|
|- Sugars||2.18 g|
|- Dietary fiber||5.2 g|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.2 mg (17%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.155 mg (13%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.915 mg (6%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.395 mg (8%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg (8%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||311 μg (78%)|
|Vitamin C||6.1 mg (7%)|
|Vitamin E||0.68 mg (5%)|
|Vitamin K||26.8 μg (26%)|
|Calcium||63 mg (6%)|
|Iron||2.27 mg (17%)|
|Magnesium||64 mg (18%)|
|Manganese||1.024 mg (49%)|
|Phosphorus||169 mg (24%)|
|Potassium||436 mg (9%)|
|Zinc||1.37 mg (14%)|
|Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Legumes may help alleviate symptoms of menopause. Certain legumes contain isoflavones that mimic the female hormone estrogen in the body. Legumes with the highest levels of plant estrogens are soybeans and garbanzo beans. Asian women, who tend to consume significant quantities of legumes, have much higher blood levels of phytoestrogens compared with most American women. Other products made from legumes that contain phytoestrogens include tofu and soymilk. Proceed with caution using isoflavones medicinally, as their safety has not been determined.
- A.^ The Nihon Kokugo Daijiten records two regional name variants for the word edamame: rakkasei (落花生)in Tottori Prefecture, and daizu (大豆), the generic word for soybeans, in Wakayama Prefecture.
- History of Edamame, Green Vegetable Soybeans, and Vegetable-Type Soybeans (1275-2009)
- "枝豆" [Edamame]. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "Edamame, n.". Oxford English dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. March 2012. LCCN 2002565560. OCLC 357047940. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- "Edamame". Jōhō chishiki imidas (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Shūeisha. 2012. OCLC 297351993. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- USDA government article about edamame.
- "Edamame nutrition profile (frozen, unprepared)". NutritionData. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
- "Edamame nutrition profile (frozen, prepared)". NutritionData. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Simonne, A. H.; Smith, M.; Weaver, D. B.; Vail, T.; Barnes, S.; Wei, C. I. (2000). "Retention and Changes of Soy Isoflavones and Carotenoids in Immature Soybean Seeds (Edamame) during Processing". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48 (12): 6061–9. doi:10.1021/jf000247f. PMID 11141271.
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