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  • r

I LOVE edamame. But no matter how hard I try, whenever I cook it at home, the frozen pods shrivel up and die. What am I doing wrong?

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  1. Are you using fresh, flash frozen, or frozen pre-cooked?

    I learned the hard way that most edamame available at my local japanese market was pre-cooked.

    It really only needed about 5 minutes in boling water, then a rinse in cold water. Then I drain and sprinkle on coarse sea salt.

    1. I've had no problems. I plunge the frozen edamame into boiling salted water, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, and drain. Then sprinkle with salt. Have you tried different brands? Perhaps the brand you're using has been through some thawings and refreezings.

      1. If you have access to a Trader Joe's you MUST get theirs. All you have to do is thaw them and they're perfect. I had the same problem as you with other brands that had to be boiled...

        1. I think it's cooking too long. I put mine in the cold water and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling rapidly I take them off and then drain and salt. I don't get shriveled pods. The only time I get that is when they are cooked too long or once when I tried to use the microwave.

          1. I always end up cooking the frozen ones for less than the 5 minutes called for on the package, but I like mine a bit crunchy still. I've noticed more quality issues with the frozen Trader Joe's edamame, both shelled and unshelled. Their bags seem to end up with a handful of shriveled/yellow pods or beans every time. I've rarely had this with the ones I buy at the Japanese market.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Candice

              Wow, I have never had this problem. I am a big fan, they are the only ones that have not disappointed me. In the pod, please.

            2. I think the term cooking is wrong here. All you really need to do is defrost them. Think of it in those terms and they are great. Sometimes I squeeze a little lime over the top before the salt. . . great with a beer.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Porkchop Express

                Lime is an excellent idea!
                Any other flavor combos that you think might go well?

                1. re: MaspethMaven

                  toss in oil that has had curry powder briefly fried in it.

              2. I cook the frozen ones in the microwave. I just put them in a bowl with about 3 or 4 tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap, and nuke for about 3-4 minutes. I drain the water out when they are done and toss with kosher salt.

                1. RBC, maybe you need to expand on how you prepare them for us to figure out what might be happening. Maybe the process you're using or the brand you buy. I've never had any problems boiling them like others have said for about 4-5 minutes. I prefer boiling than letting them thaw because I like them slightly warm with the coarse sea salt on top, of course.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: singleguychef

                    Singlechefguy - I have been putting them in the microwave drenched in regular table salt... Clearly, that's not the way to go. Tips?

                    1. re: rbc

                      Don't salt them before cooking. Salt draws the water out. If you must microwave them, you might try putting them in a covered dish with a bit of water to sort of steam them. Salt afterward.

                      1. re: Snackish

                        Ditto on the advice from Snackish. If you have to microwave, then put a bit of water and cover. Then sprinkle salt when you take it out of the microwave (and drain any leftover water). You probably don't need to microwave it too long too, maybe a minute? Oh, and regular table salt doesn't really accentuate the beans. All the restaurants use sea salt. You might invest in a bottle. (Sea salt is better for you if it's naturally harvested and not processed.)

                        1. re: singleguychef

                          with the micro -- just put them in bowl and cover with damp paper towel

                  2. I buy any of the multiple brands on sale at the asian grocery store for 99 cents a bag. 4-5 minutes in boiling water and a sprinkling of salt. Never had a problem.

                    Are you storing these in your own freezer for any length of time before using? Some frost free types might cause problems.

                    1. Safeway also carries a brand (at least in northern California) of edamame, and I prefer these to Trader Joe's - better quality bean (fewer duds), and they cook better too.