Edamame vs. Plain Soy Beans

jimster(z7a MA)April 5, 2006

I have some seeds of a soy variety sold as an edamame type. They were pretty expensive, I thought. I also have a big bag of soy beans bought at a good store at a reasonable price. They aren't identified as to variety.

I plan to grow some of each to see how much different they are. My aim is to grow them for edamame. Do you know what I can expect? If you don't know, do you have a guess?


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So long as you harvest at the proper time (the window is narrow) both should produce an excellent snack for you.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 6:51PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Good. That's what I was hoping for.

"harvest at the proper time (the window is narrow)"

Looks like successive plantings would be a good idea, to spread out the harvesting window. Or, alternatively, just one big harvest and freeze them. Any thoughts on this?


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 8:36PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I have been trialing many varieties of soybean (15-20 per year) for their edamame quality. Many Asian edamame varieties (especially black seeded) require a long season (so it is hard to save seed) and are fairly expensive.

So along with U.S. commercial varieties, I have been trialing heirlooms from Seed Savers Exchange members. While all are "edible", not all are enjoyable. Some are too mushy, or too hard, have clinging membranes, are tough skinned, bland, or have unpleasant aftertastes. The best varieties so far have been "Butterbean" (early, and very sweet), "Sayamusume" and "Shirofumi", (very large, somewhat late), "Manitoba Brown" (a very early brown seeded), and a USDA variety, "VIR 1501-40" (very tall, firm, tastes like boiled peanuts). The "Manitoba Brown" doubles as a good baking bean, if soaked overnight.

As violet_z6 mentioned, good timing is everything; pick when pods are fat, but before leaves begin to yellow. My rule of thumb has been to harvest when I see the first leaf in the row _begin_ to yellow; but if you are in doubt, cook a few pods every few days, and harvest when the taste suits you.

Edamame freeze well; I boil the pods for 5-10 minutes (or steam larger quantities), shell, rinse, and freeze. After cooking they must be cooled _immediately_ under cold running water, and shelled fairly quickly, or they will absorb unpleasant flavors from the husks... friends will help you, once they realize they get to eat some as they work :-)

I use the frozen edamame plain, in vegetarian chili, and mixed with fresh-cut sweet corn for succotash (the best ever). When re-heating, remember that they are already fully cooked; warm, don't boil.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 4:36AM
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