Edamame is Japanese for twig bean. It is a young soybean picked at the peak of ripening just before it gets too hard. It has been eaten in East Asia for more than 2000 years as a protein source and is now being grown more and more in America.These young soybeans are very healthy — rich in protein, fiber, vitamin K, folate, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Here’s how to get the kids involved

This is an easy one: create a challenge. Getting the beans out of the edamame pods after they’ve been boiled is a safe task that doesn’t require sharp utensils. All the kids need to do is just squeeze the long, curved, outer edge of the pods, and the beans will pop out the front.

If your kids are the competitive type, make it a race! See how many they can shell in a minute. Then see if they can break that record. It’s a slightly deceptive “work as fun” task, but it could get the job done.

Just be sure to let the pods cool before doing this step.

Two steps, one appliance

Today’s recipe calls for boiling the pods, then briefly stir-frying the beans with spices. These two tasks are best accomplished in a wok.

This versatile Asian cooking vessel gets very hot, and that’s why woks are so good for stir-fry. But they can also boil, fry, braise, and stew. If you don’t have a wok, you’ll need a pot for boiling and a frying pan for the second step.


  • 2 big bunches of edamame, cleaned, with the pods removed from the branches
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • masala powder to taste, about a tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • curry leaves if you have them, but not necessary


  1. Boil the edamame in water for about 10 minutes, let cool, then remove the little beans from their pods.
  2. Heat canola oil in an electric wok or a pan with some salt, masala powder, curry leaves, and oregano.
  3. Stir-fry the edamame on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.