My friend Clair and I have a favorite restaurant that we visit every so often. It serves the best Asian cuisine and as an appetizer they serve edamame. With my thick southern accent, I find this delicious plate very hard to pronounce. I always think I am saying “ay-duh-MAH-may”, the correct pronunciation. However it must come far from it because Clair and the waitress always giggle as I struggle to get the word out.
Edamame, whether you can or can't pronounce it, is a dish of immature soybeans served in the pod. The pods are either steamed or boiled. This is a really cool and interesting crop to add to your garden, as it is fast growing and loves our climate.
Edamame does well in pots or sown directly into the grown. It is very important to have the correct soil, as with any crop. If planting in a pot, I like to use Sungrow Fafard 3B Mix along with Black Cow organic compost. You can also use this mixture, if planting directly into the ground. Add in some plain old yard sand to the mixture to ensure proper drainage.
Plant two seeds per hole, only one fourth of an inch deep. Edamame grows as a bush, so plant your seeds 18-24 inches apart. Keep your plants watered, but don't allow the soil to get too soggy.
Edamame has a short window in order to harvest, so you have to keep an eye on the pods. Your pods will be ready to pick when they look fat and filled out. When you see the pods forming, check them daily. If picked too late, they will taste more mealy.
To cook, simmer on stove for 6-10 minutes- and definitely add salt. Edemame is high in protein and is very healthy, as well as very, very tasty- and that's no matter how you pronounce it.
Pick up seeds, soil, and compost from your local garden shop- and keep it local. Get growing South Carolina. Be sure to share your experiences with us.