How to Microwave Edamame

How-Tos, Microwave

How to Microwave Edamame

Edamame beans have been gaining popularity and finding their way into homes worldwide. Edamame beans are soybeans that have been harvested while still very young, making them more vegetable-like than beans. 

Edamame beans grow in pods that give them a similar appearance to peas. The pod itself can be eaten though it is the edamame beans inside that are the most tasteful. Like with any soybean, edamame beans need to be cooked before they can be eaten. Is it okay to use your microwave to cook the edamame? 

To microwave edamame, make a slit at the end of each pod, then add to a bowl with a splash of water and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

How to Microwave Edamame

It is very common for edamame beans to be blanched, boiled, or steamed to be cooked. When using a microwave for cooking raw edamame, it is most effective to use a steaming method. Here is how: 

  1. Prep A Bowl 
    Find a sizeable microwave-safe bowl and add 2-4 tablespoons of warm water, depending on how much edamame you want to cook. 
  2. Make A Slit
    Use a sharp knife to chop the ends off of every edamame pod. Place the pods directly into the bowl of water. 
  3. Cover
    Lightly damp a tea towel and cover the bowl with the towel to create a lid. Or use a plate to cover the bowl. 
  4. Microwave
    Set your microwave to high. Then place the edamame bowl in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes. 
  5. Drain 
    Remove the edamame bowl from the microwave and remove the lid, being careful of the resulting steam. Drain the edamame completely. 
  6. Pop The Pods
    You can serve the edamame as they are, or you can pop the edamame beans from their pods and serve those instead, making them easier to eat. 

How to Microwave Edamame Successfully

You do have to be careful with how you microwave your edamame as you do not want to be eating raw edamame beans. They can be highly toxic and downright gross. Keep in mind these few tips to ensure you successfully microwave your edamame every time: 

  • Don’t Skip The Snip – For your microwave to thoroughly steam the edamame beans all the way through, you need to cut off the end of the pods to let the steam in. Skipping this step will lead to undercooked edamame beans, which can be toxic. 
  • Cook The Beans – Alternatively, you can remove the beans completely from the pods before you steam the edamame. Be cautious not to squash or break the edamame bean itself when removing it. 
  • Finish With Salt – Edamame is tasteful enough on its own, but many people like to boil edamame in seasoned water to enrich their taste. Sprinkle the beans with a generous amount of salt once you have steamed them for a similar result. 
  • Frozen Takes Longer – Frozen edamame is very popular in the UK and places where edamame is harder to get. You can microwave frozen edamame following the method above, though it will take longer for the beans to cook, so keep that in mind if you try to microwave the edamame straight from frozen. 

Why You Should Microwave Edamame

As far as traditional methods go, microwaving edamame isn’t very traditional, but steaming the beans is.

That is why there are so many advantages to microwaving edamame as it is a modern adaption of a traditional cooking method. These advantages include: 

Saving The Nutrients

Microwaves are often associated with unhealthy, sugar-loaded, fast food. But in the case of edamame beans, using a microwave helps to retain as many nutrients as possible in the edamame because of the steaming method.

You will be able to get the full, nutrient-rich experience of edamame with plenty of protein and antioxidants. 

No Loss Of Flavour 

Likewise, because you are not boiling the edamame in a whole pot of water, you will not have to worry about the flavour of the edamame beans themselves becoming diluted.

You will be able to get the whole intended taste of the edamame. 

Quick And Easy 

If you were to use your hob to try and steam edamame, you would have to wait for the water to boil, then start steaming the edamame, adding a whole 10 minutes to their cooking time.

Comparably, the 5 minutes in the microwave is a whole lot quicker and easier, requiring only a bowl and tea towel. 

Keeps The Texture

The taste of edamame is one thing, but edamame is widely used in dishes because of its buttery-like texture.

Some cooking methods ruin this texture, but steaming the edamame in your microwave ensures that the beans remain soft and buttery. 

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Edamame

Despite following a traditional steaming method for cooking edamame beans, using a microwave for cooking something so fresh like edamame can have its downfalls. Such as: 

Lack Of Taste 

The reason that many people prefer to boil edamame with seasoning is because edamame beans themselves have a very delicate taste that is easily overpowered by the rest of your plate.

Using a microwave to steam the edamame removes the chance to add more flavour to the edamame and encourages its natural flavour to shine. 

Sure, you could add some seasonings to the beans once they have been steamed. But it will not be as impactful flavour-wise on the bean itself. 

May Taste Off

Microwaves tend to harbour tastes and smell if you use it to heat something particularly pungent.

If you have recently cooked tomato soup, for example, then your edamame beans will develop a similar taste, possibly ruining the delicate flavour of the beans. 

Not Guaranteed To Cook 

The only way to cook edamame effectively in the microwave is to use the steaming method detailed above.

The issue is that depending on how powerful your microwave is, you may not be able to produce enough steam to cook the edamame all the way through. You may have to be prepared to cook the edamame for up to 10 minutes longer or more, depending on your microwave. 

Microwaving Edamame FAQs

Do you have more questions about using your microwave to cook edamame? Then check these out:

Can You Microwave Frozen Edamame Beans?

Yes, frozen edamame can be microwaved to cook them fully. This will take around 5 to 6 minutes on high.

Can You Eat Raw Edamame Beans?

No, raw edamame beans should not be eaten. This are actually toxic, like other soybean products when uncooked.


Where we obtain our information and verify the facts in this article:

SF Gate

The importance of cooking edamame beans fully.

Web MD

The health benefits of edamame beans.

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