Edamame may be your warm-up before a sushi dinner, but its best role is as a snack-time superstar. On its own, edamame doesn't pack a whole lot of flavor, but when you think of it as a total blank canvas, the possibilities of turning it into a punchy snack are endless.
5 Flavorful Ways to Snack on Edamame
When I first discovered edamame in the freezer section, it was a total game changer — not just for adding it to meals, but also for snacking. You'll find two varieties — shelled and unshelled — stocked with the mix of frozen vegetables. For snacking purposes, stick with the unshelled variety, where the beans are still in the pod. Not only does this make them easier to handle, but the pods have the potential to pick up way more flavor than the individual beans.
Each one of these snacks starts with 1 1/2 cups of frozen edamame. Since frozen edamame is already cooked, it just needs a few minutes to reheat. With each of these recipes, the edamame can be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
Think of these snack ideas as starting-off points, and feel free to adjust the flavors to suit your tastes. And as afternoon snacks should be, all five of these options come together in just a few minutes.
Salt + Vinegar
A classic duo of rice vinegar and flaky sea salt ensure edamame hits every salty, savory, tangy punch when the snack-time craving hits.
In a medium bowl toss 1 1/2 cups of unshelled, heated edamame with 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and flaky sea salt, until well-coated. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to eat.
Garlic + Parmesan
The blend of garlic and grated Parmesan cheese brings salty, nutty flavor to the mix, making this super-savory blend especially satisfying.
In a medium bowl toss 1 1/2 cups of unshelled, heated edamame with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, until well-coated. Or for a more mild version that tames the bite of the garlic, toss the edamame, olive oil, and minced garlic in a skillet over low heat for a couple minute, then top with Parmesan. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to eat.
Sambal Olek + Lime
If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, skip the coffee and go for the sambal. Just a little bit of this fiery chile-garlic sauce goes a long way and packs a spicy punch.
In a medium bowl toss 1 1/2 cups of unshelled, heated edamame with the juice and zest from half a lime and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sambal olek, until well-coated. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to eat.
Smoked Salt + Sugar
If you've reserved edamame as a savory snack, now's the time to sweeten things up. And smoked sea salt brings this sweet and salty blend to a whole new level.
In a medium bowl toss 1 1/2 cups of unshelled, heated edamame with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt, until well-coated. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to eat.
Coconut Oil + Sumac
A thin coating of coconut oil combined with a sprinkle of tangy ground sumac leaves these edamame straddling the lines between rich and light, and sweet and savory.
In a medium bowl toss 1 1/2 cups of unshelled, heated edamame with 2 teaspoons coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon sumac, until well-coated. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to eat.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)