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Edamame or green soybeans are a protein-rich, nutritious snack, especially air-fried until crisp and seasoned generously with salt. Shelled or unshelled edamame will air-fry within 15 minutes and are ideal for a tasty starter, a side dish, or a healthy alternative to Cheetos.
How To Air-Fry Edamame
I first tasted edamame at a new sushi restaurant, where it was served steamed and topped with salt. I was immediately beguiled once I worked out how to scrape my teeth along the pod to pop the little beans out. They’re moreishly nutty, crunchy, and toothsome.
If you’re unfamiliar with edamame, the word refers to immature green soybeans, which grow in pods, similar to garden peas. However much these remind you of peas, these little legumes cannot be eaten raw, nor can you eat the fibrous pods. You will struggle to get the beans out of the pod when they’re uncooked. You can also Air-Fry other healthy vegetables.
Buy Frozen Edamame
Edamame is a staple of Asian cuisine and is now available in most stores and supermarkets. However, unless you’re in Japan, you’ll unlikely come across fresh edamame. Soybeans are farmed in the US, but they’re used primarily for livestock feed.
You’re most likely to find it in the frozen foods aisle, where it is available both shelled (without the pods) and unshelled (in the pods). You may find pre-cooked edamame in the refrigerator.
If you have cooked, refrigerated, or frozen shelled edamame, you don’t need to thaw before cooking.
You can put the whole pods in the air-fryer, but thawing them for half an hour or so means they will cook quicker and turn out crunchier. Soaking the pods in water will thaw them within a few minutes.
Check whether the edamame is pre-cooked (the label may say “steamed”). If the beans are raw, another option is to microwave, steam, or boil the pods for a few minutes. Take care not to overcook them, or they’ll turn mushy. Once the pods have cooled a little, pop the beans out, ready for air-frying. You can speed up the cooling process by putting the edamame in cold water.
Rinse And Dry
If you’ve defrosted the beans, pat them dry with a paper towel, or they’ll steam rather than crisp up in the air-fryer.
It’s a good idea to rinse and dry any edamame you’re cooking.
Seasoning is what makes edamame beans so delicious. Although you can fry the edamame as is, there are several seasoning options for coating the beans before frying:
- Plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper is vital.
- Sprinkle with spices of your choice: paprika, cumin, garlic powder, garlic flakes, onion salt, celery salt, ginger, or chili flakes.
- Adding ground fresh garlic means you get the delicious flavor of roast garlic with your edamame.
- Toss the pods or beans in a teaspoon of sesame, avocado, or olive oil.
- Add soy, miso, mayonnaise, or sweet chili sauce.
- Get extra crunch with a sprinkling of panko breadcrumbs.
It’s easiest to put the edamame in a bowl, add the seasonings, and then put the lid on and shake to coat.
My air-fryer can handle around eight ounces of edamame in its pods. Overfilling or crowding the basket prevents the edamame from crisping, so rather cook in more than one batch.
The joy of an air-fryer is making healthy, low-calorie snacks at your convenience – without the added fat. As you can make crispy chickpeas or corn in the air-fryer, edamame will become your new go-to snack.
- Preheat your air-fryer has this setting to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray the basket with a little oil if you didn’t use it in the seasoning.
- Shake the seasoned edamame into the air-fryer, ensuring they’re in a single layer.
- Fry the edamame for 8 to 12 minutes or until crisp. (You may need to reduce this time if you’re using fresh edamame or increase it for frozen beans.)
- To ensure even crisping, shake the basket halfway through frying.
- The edamame will still be green with a lovely brown sear in places.
My air-fryer is a lifesaver when I need to produce a near-instant snack. Preheating my fryer typically makes fried foods like edamame (or Tater Tots ) much crisper and crunchier. Preheating takes only a few minutes, and the food cooks more quickly.
Tip the beans out of the air-fryer. If you didn’t season the edamame before cooking, you’ve got the opportunity to season them now with one or more of the following:
- Sea salt flakes
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Sesame seeds.
Edamame is best straight out of the fryer, grasped in handfuls. Even when cooked, edamame has a firm bite or toothsomeness.
If you’ve got the edamame in pods, scrape your teeth along the top to release the tasty beans in your mouth. Remember to put out an empty bowl for discarded edamame pods.
You’re unlikely ever to have leftover air-fried edamame, but if you do, store them airtight in the refrigerator for four to five days. You can reheat edamame using the air-fryer within that time frame.
10 Ways To Use Air-Fried Edamame
Air-fried edamame are delicious as they are, eaten as a snack in front of the TV, like peanuts or pretzels. You can enjoy these morsels in other ways. Remove the little beans from their pods and try the following:
- Serve edamame as an appetizer with drinks.
- Pack air-fried edamame in an airtight tub for a work snack.
- Top salads with edamame for a protein punch.
- Toss edamame through pasta for a hot meal or pasta salad.
- Add the beans to a stir-fry.
- Stir edamame beans into a noodle bowl.
- Pop edamame into tacos, along with other veg.
- Mash the edamame and serve it like hummus.
- Serve edamame as a side dish instead of peas.
- Throw cooked beans into a stew or soup.
Why You Should Eat More Edamame
There’s a good reason that edamame is so widely eaten:,, vegan, cholesterol-free, and low on the glycaemic index (so they’re good for people with diabetes). They’re also incredibly nutritious, just like other gluten-free recipes.
A single serving of edamame (half a cup or one ounce) contains the following:
- Only 95 calories: Edamame beans are ideal for weight-loss diets.
- Fiber: You get eight grams of fiber from this tasty snack, a third of your RDA.
- Omega fats: There are at least six grams of omega fatty acids in a portion of edamame.
- Protein: Soy is a complete plant-based source of protein, including all necessary amino acids. A single serving gives you nine grams of protein.
- Vitamins and minerals: One serving of edamame beans gives you your day’s requirements of folate, a third of your vitamin K needs, a fifth of your iron, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, folates, vitamins A and C, manganese, and thiamin.
Edamame And The Soy Debate
You may have read medical studies that suggested a link between consuming soy products (like edamame) and the risk of breast cancer. However, more recent studies indicate that the link was made only in rats, which process soy differently from humans. Instead, the American Cancer Society argues that eating soy-based foods can actually reduce the risk of cancer. So we can enjoy our edamame without concern, knowing that the health benefits outweigh any risks.
Make it once, and air-fried edamame will become a family go-to. Season it with your favorite spices, and cook for only 10 minutes. You’ll have a protein-rich, vitamin-filled snack to eat, hot or cold.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.