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Harvesting Edamame

In spring, we experimented with planting edamame (soybeans) and, despite having to re-seed 3 times (with only 7 out of 20 seeds surviving in the end), the plants have yielded excellent results.  Today we began harvesting the plump pods.

We’ve grown edamame from seedlings once before, but never from seed.  Trial, and plenty of error, lead us to discover that soaking the seeds before planting is a bad idea when it comes to Sayamusume soybeans.  We did inoculate the seeds to help them germinate better, resulting in thriving plants.

Edamame growing on healthy plants

How to Harvest

Like corn, edamame has a short window of time in which the beans are sweet.  Wait too long and they turn to starch and become tough.  Pick the beans when the pods are full (some sources say that the beans should touch within the pod, but ours weren’t quite touching when we harvested).

Harvest as you would green beans or sugar snap peas, holding the stem with one hand, and snapping off the pods with the other.  Avoid pulling the pods one-handed; you could rip off a branch of the plant or uproot it.

Some have odd shapes, but all taste delicious!

How to Cook

Fresh edamame cooks pretty quickly.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the soybeans and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Drain and shock with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!


Fresh-picked soybeans can be stored in a plastic container in the fridge for a few days, but don’t wait too long to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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