I get inspiration for many of my snacks (and I do snack a lot) from our local Co-op. This grocery store/eatery/sushi spot has a very yummy – and usually quite healthy – hot and cold bar where you can find almost anything. Soups, salads, tempeh, delicious sausage breakfast sandwiches…this place turns out scratch food made from local ingredients like you would not believe. I first tried their “edamole” dip when a relative brought some over as a pre-dinner snack. I’ve been a fan of edamame even before I set foot in Japan, so the flavor was already tasty in my book. Add a strong kick of raw garlic and a zing of lemon and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Edamame are sort of the “beer nuts” of Japan. Served as an appetizer or as free munchies at pubs, these steamed and lightly salted pre-mature soybean pods are as common to the Japanese diet as popcorn is to the American. They even have edamame toys! Because I knew I was going to use them in this recipe, I opted for the pre-shelled kind but you can also find the whole pods fresh or frozen at many grocery stores.
While soy products are on the rise in the West, we could stand to eat more of them in my opinion – especially women. The humble soy bean is a powerful fighter against heart disease, high cholesterol, menopausal symptoms, and osteoporosis. According to the Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies, “In Asian countries, where women eat a lot of soy foods, only about 16 percent have a problem with menopausal discomfort. In fact, there isn’t even a word in Japanese for ‘hot flash’.” Much of the soy beans’ power comes from the phytoestrogens it contains (basically a plant version of estrogen), but this also means you shouldn’t eat more than two servings of soy products a day. Very few of us squeeze a single soy product in a week (think tofu, miso soup, soy milk) but for some vegans or soy-lovers: just remember all good things work best in moderation. 🙂
Edamole! (inspired from the Onion River Coop dish)
1 C steamed and shelled soy beans (buy them precooked to save time)
1 – 2 cloves of garlic*
1 t lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 T EVOO, plus more if needed
* Note: I prefer 2 cloves for this snack, but my family found that too overpowering. The next time I used 1 and everyone enjoyed it. Start with 1 clove (or perhaps even ½ a clove if you’re serving those with sensitive taste-buds) and add more as needed.
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and mix away! Add more EVOO if needed to produce a smooth, scoop-able blend. I like mine a bit on the drier side, but this recipe is all about personal preference.
- Give the edamole a taste and add more garlic, salt, juice, or oil as desired.
- Serve immediately with chips, on sandwiches, or with veggies. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
I warn you: if you’re a garlic lover, this is one addicting snack! Good thing it is also healthy for you, haha. Edamole makes for an easy potluck addition and I guarantee it makes for an equally good conversation-starter. Most folks know about guacamole and nearly as many these days know about edamame, but edamole? You’ve got yourself a unique treat on your hands. I also whip this dish up for my friends who enjoy Mexican Night, but don’t like avocado. I’m sure those with avocado allergies could fully appreciate this alternative as well.
This is just a base recipe, too. I’m sure it could be improved upon with ingredients one would add to traditional guacamole (tomato, peppers, cilantro, corn…) or you could do a fusion-thing and toss in more Asian flavors like wasabi, kimchi, peanuts, or even flakes of white fish! Oooo, yeah…
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥