Georgia's State Flags,
Home of Good Eats
|H: Gee, honey, do you ever wonder if we could be doing more to reduce our risk of heart disease and cancer?||
W: Well, sweetie, that's why we take Edamax 6 to 20 times a day. Edamax not
only contains 10 grams of dietary fiber ...
H: ... and gosh, that's more than 40% of our recommended daily allowance!
W: And it's high in iron, and calcium, and B-complex vitamins, not to mention powerful antioxidants called isoflavones.
H: Plus, each delicious serving of Edamax contains 20 grams of protein. [chews on a tablet]
W: So try Edamax today. You'll be glad you did.
[AB's head pops up in front of the computer monitor] Of course, if you wanted to add powerful antioxidants like isoflavones to your diet, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, great flavor, and culinary versatility, you would skip the Edamax and just eat your edamame. A relative newcomer to the American table, this green bean is a powerhouse of nutrition that just so happens to be a soybean, not to mention ...
[Good Eats Theme]
GUEST: Deb Duchon, Nutritional Anthropologist
[AB is driving alongside the soybean field] Behold the mature soybean,
Glycine max, a culinary chameleon that, due to its unique chemical attributes, it's
managed to work its way into our daily lives in innumerable guises. Many of
which are delightfully edible, such as tofu, soy sauce, miso paste, soybean oil
and delicious snacks like these little dry-roasted edamame things. I just love
But the curious and complex chemical composition of Glycine max make it a welcome player in a vast array of non-food items, from candles, to crayons, fuel additives, to flooring, hair care products, to pens, to even shirts, believe it or not. [spots a place to pull over] Ah! This looks good. [gets out]
|Although soybeans have been cultivated in central Asia for millennia, their American experience is relatively recent. They are rumored to have been brought over from the Old World in the hands of none other than Benjamin Franklin of the Continental Congress.||
|DD: Well, actually, Alton, there was an entrepreneur named Samuel Bowen who actually introduced the soybean to the colony of Georgia in 1765, a full five years before Benjamin Franklin. And in those days, they used to call the soybean Chinese vetch. It's really pretty funny, because, as you can see, a soybean looks nothing like a vetch.||
AB: Yes, that's, that's funny. Not quite as funny as a woman standing out in a
soybean field with an umbrella, though. Of course, back then, as today, most
soybean crops in the U.S. were traditional row or commodity soybeans, which are
used primarily as animal fodder. Back then, people just didn't eat them. Now the
beans in this field are green, immature and delicious. We call them edamame,
which means "branch" or "twig beans" in Japanese.
DD: And the first written record of an edamame comes from a letter written by a Buddhist priest in 1275. But the first American awareness of the edamame came out of the USDA-Sponsored Dorsett-Morse agricultural expedition that traveled through Asia in the early 1930s.
AB: Expedition leader William J. Morse was America's leading proponent of soybean cultivation at the time. Excuse me.
DD: In 1935, the doctor John Kellogg ...
AB: ... of Battle Creek, Michigan, and cereal fame.
DD: That's right. He tried to can them for a while.
DD: But the real edamame moment in the United States really came as a result of something that Dr. John Kellogg would have disapproved of.
AB: And what is that exactly?
AB: Beer? Beer?
DD: [both walk into a covered wagon fashioned as a sushi bar] When the sushi boom started in California, it was usually served with Japanese beer, but Americans can't sit at a bar with a beer without having something to snack on. So, instead of the more standard peanuts and pretzels, the sushi bar owners started to put out a more traditional Japanese accompaniment, edamame.
DD: And the rest is history.
AB: So what you're saying is that, in the end, what old William J. Morse and John Kellogg could not do for edamame, beer and sushi did.
AB: So how do you like yours?
DD: Glass, mug, bottle, can. I don't care.
AB: Actually, I meant the edamame.
DD: Oh, yeah. Um, braised with bok choy.
AB: Hmm, sweet. See 'ya.
[exits the sushi wagon and is now inside Harry's] Many Asian supermarkets and farmer's markets stock fresh edamame during the summer growing season. And so, too, do a few quality megamarts. Now if you find them, look for firm, deep-green pods that show no signs of bruising or any other damage. Now if you are unable to find the fresh stuff, not a problem.
|[now at the frozen foods section] A great majority of the edamame consumed in this country is purchased blanched and frozen, and that's okay with me. Now this particular megamart offers shelled and pod versions, the pod being my personal favorite. Now a cursory examination of the bag should reveal the country of origin. And although the U.S. is far and away the world leader of soybean production, you shouldn't be too surprised to discover that your bag has come from the other side of the planet. Ahh, globalization.||
PRODUCT OF CHINA
Edamame purchased in the blanched and frozen state are nearly bulletproof as
long as they stay frozen. But fresh edamame do not improve with age and should
be cooked and consumed as soon as possible. First step, a quick rinse in a cold
shower to spray them down, and just toss away any cracked or damaged pods that
have snuck into your supply. You'll also want to be on the lookout for any
errant stems or leaves, et cetera. And of course if they are organic, you might
have some livestock in here, like some caterpillars. Like, you probably, you
know, don't want to eat those.
Anyway, as far as cooking these, we could certainly boil our pods green bean-style in salted water. But by the time the inner goodness becomes tender, the outer shells are usually olive drab. And besides, since we're not eating the outer pods, all that water and salt seems a little bit of a waste. Now steaming is certainly another option, but I generally find that steamed pods are unappealingly mushy. Not what I'm after. Besides, young edamame pods already contain all of the water required for actual cooking. All you have to do is excite that water a little bit. For that, of course, we need a magnetron. Hah hah hah.
[a humongous magnetron model descends] As everyone knows, a magnetron emits radio waves in the range of 2.5 gigahertz, a frequency of wave possessing a curious characteristic, in that they can be absorbed by water and certain other asymmetrical molecules. Of course, E=mc2, so something has to happen to that energy. And in this case, it translates to heat. This means by focusing the radio output of the magnetron onto the beans, we can cook them without actually applying heat. Ha! And to think, I built it myself for only $47,972. Of course, if you're not willing to dedicate these kinds of funds, you could simply use this device [referring to a microwave oven, not shown].
The first microwave oven was called a Radarange, was housed in a refrigerator sized cabinet and cost $2000-$3000.
|Despite a rather unsavory reputation, the microwave oven is actually one of the miracle inventions of the 20th century. So, one pound of pods go in in a glass bowl, along with a quarter cup of H2O. Now in this case, the water is acting as an energy sink, absorbing excess microwaves, thus preventing burning.||1 Pound Edamame|
Now, four to six minutes on high will do the trick. I would love to be more
exact, but we are talking about an agricultural product here. Oh, and this is
nice: you can do the same method with frozen pods directly from the freezer.
Just start checking on them after about five minutes.
[five minutes later] Always extract with care. Steam can cause nasty scalding.
Now for the classic sushi bar treatment, simply season the drained edamame with
a good coarse salt. But you know, this might be a good time to set aside your
standard crystals and reach for something with a more distinct flavor profile,
like sea salt. Why? Well, think of the oceans.
[pulls back the curtain on the tent to reveal a beach scene] Now they contain water, certainly, and salt to be sure, but they also contain a lot of other stuff, like vitamins and minerals and, well, stuff that can be captured in and around crystals as they form. Now this grants sea salts highly individual flavors, which, although subtle, are certainly detectable to the discerning palate. Now in this case, I think that a Hawaiian or perhaps a Japanese salt would be a good trick to go with.
Now you could simply toss the drained beans with the salt. But if you really want to make sure that the grains stick and don't dissolve until you're ready to pop them in your mouth, just add a few drops of oil to the beans first, and then toss.
Now although the outer shell is technically partially edible a little bit, the way I do this is just kind of pop the whole pod in your mouth and just use your teeth to get those seeds right out. Like this. [eats a pod, and pulls it out by its skin, leaving the seeds behind] One, two, three. Ahh, delicious! And a substantial upgrade, nutritionally speaking, from things like pretzels.
Now what else can you do with these? Well, how about a nice salad?
Delicious though they may be, sushi store edamame is not our only edamame
option. But unless you've got four stomachs like one of these guys [cows], you're going to have to get rid of this pod, which is
Now we can do this the old-school, grandma kind of way. Just cook them and squeeze them into your hand one at a time. It's very homespun. And you know what? I just don't go that way. As far as I'm concerned, if there's a mechanical answer, that's what we're going to go for, and here it is.
I have right here a regular home pasta rolling machine, completely manual. I have bolted that to the counter over just a Styrofoam tray. You could use plastic. Here's what we're going to do. The edamame in its cooked form goes right up the bottom, and you roll out the shell. That pops the little seeds right into the bottom. No muss, no fuss, and gosh darn it, it's kind of fun.
|[at the oven] Alright, grab yourself a 13" x 9" metal pan, and set your hot box to roast at 400 degrees. Okay, now you're going to require 12 ounces of shelled edamame for this. That's about two cups, and you can use fresh or, as I have here, you can use frozen straight from the freezer. Just, it'll lengthen the cook time a little bit.||
12 Ounces Shelled Edamame
|Now to that we will add one half cup of corn kernels—that's about two ears' worth—a quarter of a cup of finely diced scallions, one clove of garlic, minced, three-quarters of a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Finally, one tablespoon of olive oil. And stir until everything is thoroughly coated.||
½ Cup Corn Kernels
¼ Cup Diced Scallion
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
¾ tsp. Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Freshly Ground Black
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Now we're going to let this roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edamame begins to brown. Now like their leguminous cousins, the peanuts, roasting will enhance the edamame's inherent nutty goodness. And of course, it will make the kitchen smell good, too.
During the Civil War, soldiers used roasted soybeans
as a substitute for coffee beans.
Ahh, just get a whiff of that. Oh, sorry. Well believe me, the time in the oven has created some wonderfully complex compounds that have veered the flavor away from vegetal towards nuttiness. Cool prior to further processing.
|And by further processing, I of course mean the addition of one cup of chopped fresh tomatoes, one-quarter of a cup of chopped fresh basil or freshly chopped, rather, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, just to up the acidity a bit. Now stir to combine thoroughly. And you're better to let this sit for at least a couple of hours before serving.||
1 Cup Chopped Fresh
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
1 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
Japan Airlines began serving edamame on flights
from San Francisco to Japan in 1991.
Serve this chilled, or at room temperature, and you've got yourself a complete
meal that could easily lay claim to all those health benefits you hear about.
Why? Well, let's say for a minute that this stack of blocks represents proteins.
And the blocks themselves are the amino acids that make up the proteins. Now
when you consume a protein, your body breaks all this down. Then, when you need
something, you can whip up whatever it is:
ANNOUNCER: [as an alarm sounds] Fabrication to parts. Fabrication to parts.
AB: Go for parts, fabrication.
AN: Yeah, parts, we need a muscle kit up here stat.
AB: Roger that, fabrication. One muscle kit stat.
AN: Yeah, okay.
|Okay, now whether a protein is considered complete or not depends upon whether or not it contains the essential amino acids that the human body must acquire from the outside world, including histidine, leucine, isoleucine lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and, of course, valine. If we don't get our essentials, these amino acids, in the body, then we cannot make the stuff that the body needs, and your existence on this planet could be greatly compromised.||
H L i L P T t V
Now, animal proteins are, of course, complete proteins. But consuming them usually means dosing up on saturated fats as well. Soybeans, edamame included, are the only, repeat, only plant foods capable of delivering complete proteins. You could, in fact, live off of them, which, given their tremendous versatility, doesn't sound like such a bad thing.
If you want to grow your own edamame, some popular
varieties include Butterbaby, Green Pearls and Envy.
This is a potato chip. It's mighty tasty. It would be a lot healthier, though, if we could get some edamame onto it. The problem is they kind of roll off. Which is a good reason for making a dip out of edamame, which, uh [looks at the chip covered in dip] ... Well, I'll just eat that later.
|Okay, so this venture will begin with 12 ounces of shelled, cooked and cooled edamame. Now notice that I said cooked and cooled edamame. Okay? If for some reason you chose to use uncooked edamame, you should be aware that raw soy contains an inhibitor, a chemical that prevents the body from absorbing all of that great protein. Now cooking doesn't completely eliminate this substance, but the amounts left are way too small to have any real effect.||
12 Ounces Shelled Edamame,
Cooked & Cooled
|Next up, a quarter cup of diced onion. Very nice. And one large clove of garlic, sliced, will do just fine. Next up, a half a cup of densely packed flat-leaf parsley. You could also use cilantro here would be fine.||
¼ Cup Diced Onion
1 Large Clove Garlic, Sliced
½ Cup Tightly Packed Parsley
|Now here's my secret weapon, a tablespoon of miso. Now miso is a fermented soybean paste often found in Japanese cuisine. There are actually several different styles of miso, some of which contain just soybeans. Others contain various grains, as well. Now I am using a rice-soy miso, which is, I think, a little bit sweeter than the straight stuff. It's easy to find in Asian or gourmet markets as well as on the Internet and even in some megamarts. And you'll probably find it right next to this item, one teaspoon of red chili paste, which will come in a jar like this, has hot chilies and, of course, garlic.||
1 Tbs. Miso
1 tsp. Red Chile Paste
|Next, lemon juice, one quarter of a cup, freshly squeezed. Lime or lemon, actually, will be fine. Then some salt. One teaspoon of kosher will do the trick. And about a quarter teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Now we will lid this up and take it for a spin.||
¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Freshly Ground Black
|Now once you've got kind of a fine mince, we will add five tablespoons of olive oil, slowly, and process till smooth.||5 Tbs. Olive Oil|
Behold our edamame dip, which is tasty, low-fat, nutritious, and almost never
breaks the potato chip. Of course, it could also go on crackers. Or you could
add additional nutritional power to the perennial party platter, the crudité, or
those things [points to cheese puffs].
Is it good? Watch this.
AB: [whistles] FRESH KRAFT SERVICE ON THE TABLE!
STAGE CREW: [stage crews descends on the food]
Should leftovers be available, or if you want to make it up in advance, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. I think I'll make another batch.
Edamame can be used instead of chickpeas in hummus recipes.
Just as with its cousin legume, the peanut, our edamame is often dry-roasted and turned into a tasty treat. Now even though the processing reduces the nutritive value somewhat, these are still a darn fine substitute for a bag of goobers, especially when you consider the fact that they contain 70% less fat, 40% more protein, and are a lot less likely to cause allergic reactions. Consult with your doctor, of course. Now my favorite part of this is that we can indeed use these dried edamame just as we would peanuts in one of my favorite applications, brittle.
|So, we will begin with seven ounces of dry-roasted edamame. To that we will add a tablespoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and salt. Now we'll mix to combine. And then just let these sit around for a few minutes. We're also going to need to prep a sheet pan, a half sheet pan, rather, with a silicone baking mat, and a rubber spatula. And this [spatula] we will definitely want to lube up with a little no-stick right before we work with it. That can wait. Now let's go over here.||
7 Ounces Dry Roasted
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp. Kosher Salt
[at the stove] Place a medium to large cast-iron skillet over high heat, and then place a three-quart saucepan or saucier inside that. Now the cast iron is going to act as a heat diffuser helping to eliminate any hot spots that might form during the cooking phase.
|Now, software. One pound plus six ounces of granulated sugar and 12 ounces of H2O are combined via wooden spoon. It's always best to use a wooden spoon during candy-making because it doesn't conduct heat and therefore will not contribute to possible crystallization, which would be a very bad thing.||
1 Pound +
6 Ounces Sugar
12 Ounces Water
Now when the syrup comes up to a boil, you're going to stop stirring, cover, and
cook for three minutes. Then uncover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and
cook until the sugar starts to turn light amber, about 25 minutes. Now I used to
get very exact times and temperatures for this kind of thing. But the truth is,
time and temperature can lie when it comes to candy making. So the best thing to
do is to just use your eyes and learn what to look for. Light amber.
So kill the heat and stir in the edamame mixture. Alright. Now this is greatly reduce the sugar temperature, so work quickly. And as soon as everything is integrated, we're going straight to the mat. Okay, now just pour it out and then smooth it with your well-lubed spatula. You have got to work quickly before it sets up. There. Don't try to get all the way to the edges. We're going to let this cool for half an hour until it's nice and snappy. Then you can break it into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
[AB is dressed in a bathrobe and is now in the video sitting at a dining room table] Now I hope that we've inspired you to import edamame from the sushi bar into your kitchen.
W: [walks in and pours AB a cup of coffee]
Besides their obvious culinary credentials, I believe that when properly deployed, they can serve as potent soldiers in the battle for better nutrition.
W: Who are you?
AB: I'm the guy who's replacing these [Edamax pills] with these [edamame].
W: Oh, okay. Why are you wearing my husband's robe?
AB: I'm sorry, we don't have time for more questions today.
See you next time on Good Eats.
Transcribed by Michael Roberts
Proofread by Michael Menninger
Last Edited on 08/27/2010