This delicious treat is one of my absolute favorite appetizers in Japan! I love edamame and to be honest, no one does it like the Japanese (seriously I’ve tried at several restaurants here in the States and they all seem to botch it)! Edamame is a very common dish in izakayas (Japanese pubs) but you can find them virtually everywhere from convenience stores to sushi-go-rounds.
Edamame is immature soybeans that are cooked while still in their pods. Within Asia, the common way to prep is to boil or steam the pods then sprinkle with salt. A second empty dish is served along with the edamame for the discarded pods after you remove the seeds.
In most cases, edamame is usually served as a savory dish or by itself. However, in the region of Tohoku they use edamame seeds to make zunda, a sugary paste that is used in sweets in place of anko.
While the traditional way of enjoying edamame with salt only is still my favorite, I really enjoy this recipe when I want something different. I first tried this dish at IKEMEN Ramen at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. IKEMEN was the Hollywood ramen shop that was famous for its ramen fusions. Italian-style ramen was one of these fusion. Hope you enjoy it as well!
IKEMEN’s Italian-Style Edamame
1 package edamame
Basil pesto, homemade or packaged (recipe below if needed)
Cook edamame according to directions. While still warm, toss with basil pesto.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup paremesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 cup basil
1/3 cup pine nuts
Pinch of salt
Puree all ingredients together in a food processor or chopper. Yields ½ cup.
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