Black Pepper Edamame

Edamame (edible soybeans, called maodou in Mandarin) are very popular these days and can be bought either shelled or unshelled in the freezer section of most grocery stores. And lo and behold, this morning the Japanese produce vendor at my farmer’s market had them FRESH and still on the vine! They are particularly popular with kids – even the kind who don’t eat vegetables seem to like to pop them out of their pods and eat them! If you like spicy food, substitute a bit of Sichuan peppercorn. WARNING: the pods are lined with a substance that is almost like plastic – not edible, and do NOT try to put this down the garbage disposal!


  • 1/2 lb unshelled edamame, rinsed and drained
  • 3 ea star anise (available in the spice section of most stores – if you can’t find whole anise, use 1/4 tsp anise seed
  • 2 slices fresh ginger root
  • 1 ea scallion, cut into 1″ sections

cooking liquid:


  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper (or Sichuan peppercorn) or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt – kosher or sea salt is extra nice for this – or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar – raw cane sugar is best (optional)


  1. Place all the ingredients and the cooking liquid ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 m.
  2. Drain off the liquid, remove the ginger and scallion pieces.
  3. While the edamame are still hot, add the seasoning ingredients, mix well, and allow to sit for 30 m at room temperature before serving – be sure to provide a plate or bowl for the used pods.

do ahead:

This recipe can be made up to a day in advance – store in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

nutritional data:

I assume this dish serves 4 as an appetizer. Since the ginger and scallion are removed after cooking, I have not included their values. I have used water in place of broth and included the sugar in the final count. If you are watching your sodium intake, you may want to try reducing the amount of salt by omitting it from the seasoning ingredients and only using it in the cooking liquid.

  • Total calories 65, calories from fat 22
  • Total fat 3 g, saturated fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 302 mg
  • Total carbs 6 g, dietary fiber 3 g, sugars 2 g
  • Protein 6 g

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