Kitchn Love Letters

The $2 Grocery Staple I’m Stocking in My Pantry All Summer

published Jul 28, 2023
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Edamame seasoned with chili garlic mix on blue serving plate
Credit: Michelle Lau

With my often busy work schedule as a lifestyle editor, I’m always on the lookout for simple shortcuts to making food (short prep times and even shorter grocery lists are my BFFs). That’s one of the reasons why I’ve fallen in love with making edamame this summer. Sure, these

tasty morsels

nourishing appetizer on their own, but I recently found a delicious way to really crank up the flavor.

While wandering the aisles at my local Ranch 99 Market, a popular Asian grocery store chain, I came across a packet of S&B Edamame Chili Garlic Seasoning Mix. Plenty of times, I’ve ordered pricey, chili-seasoned edamame at fancy Japanese restaurants, so the thought of recreating the same flavorful dish at a fraction of the cost was exciting! Immediately, I threw the S&B spice packet in my shopping basket along with another bag of frozen edamame on my way to check out. I was ready to head home and prepare a fun snack.

Credit: Michelle Lau

What’s So Great About S&B Edamame Chili Garlic Seasoning Mix?

As a frequent shopper at my local Japanese grocery store in California, I’m no stranger to S&B Foods. It’s a well-known brand in Asian markets for popular shichimi togarashi spices and chili oils, Japanese curry, instant miso soup, and tubes of prepared hot wasabi. But somehow I had never seen the company’s packets of spices aimed specifically at jazzing up edamame. 

Credit: Michelle Lau

Made in Japan, the spice mix conveniently combines these delightful umami flavors — garlic, salt, ground sesame, sugar, and chili pepper — in one. I love that S&B’s packet gives soybeans such a punchy chili and garlic boost. (If you happen to have plenty of spices on hand, you can probably whip up a DIY version, but the pre-mixed pack makes everything a cinch.) 

There’s no measuring and no mess, which means I can put together a crowd-pleasing appetizer in mere minutes. (S&B promises we can make it in five, to be exact.) And, get this: One packet is less than $3.

Credit: Michelle Lau

The best part? With this packet, making chili-garlic edamame only requires three ingredients: one tablespoon of vegetable (or sesame) oil, a package of unsalted, frozen edamame in their pods, and the S&B seasoning mix. It couldn’t be easier.

Credit: Michelle Lau

What’s the Best Way to Use S&B Edamame Chili Garlic Seasoning?

Since my discovery a few months ago, I’ve been making the spicy starter at least twice a month. I prepare my edamame as I usually would, and follow the two-step directions on the package. This is usually just a matter of boiling a pot of water to heat my edamame, then draining the fiber-rich gems. You can also steam or microwave your beans. 

Once they’re heated, I add the vegetable oil to a bowl and thoroughly mix it with the S&B seasoning. (Sometimes, I even go rogue and switch it up, breaking out a bottle of sesame oil instead.) Then, I simply toss the cooked edamame with the mixture, generously coating the protein-packed pods in chili-garlic goodness. 

This appetizer is 100% foolproof. When served warm, it’ll look as good as — and taste like — the dish from your neighborhood Japanese restaurant.

Here’s another secret: I’ve found you don’t even need the full package of spice mix, depending on the size of your edamame bag. I use half of the seasoning, and it’s plenty of flavor for one package of beans. (Several frozen edamame brands come in bags weighing 14.1 ounces, a tad less than one pound, which is what S&B’s directions call for.) That way, you’ll not only save money, but you can make spicy edamame twice in a row!

Buy: S&B Edamame Chili Garlic Seasoning Mix, $2.29 for 0.88 ounces at 99 Ranch Market

Do you have a favorite seasoning mix you buy on repeat? Tell us about it in the comments below.