This was my first year growing soybeans in my garden. It was pretty much just like growing green beans, but with a much longer growing period. They were ready to harvest about a full month after the green beans were producing and fortunately completely maintenance and pest free. I will definitely grow these again.
I do have to admit I almost completely forgot about them as they were tucked behind my green bean plants. When I went to pull the expired plants…I was like ‘oh yeah!’, soybeans! Gosh, this summer’s been tough on the brain. I’m officially declaring age 27 (yup thats my age) as the year my brain peaked and then started downhill…anymore I can be such a dummy.
I grew a variety called Envy purchased from Seed Savers Exchange with intention of having fresh edamame to munch on. If you’re not familiar with edamame it’s an Eastern Asia side dish popular in Japanese and some Chinese restaurants here in the states. The soybean pod is harvested right before fully ripe and boiled in salted water and served whole in which you pop the bean out of the pod into your mouth. I like to order a side of these beans when having sushi. They are like potato chips…you cannot stop shoving them into your mouth. Actually they have a great nutty flavor so its kind of like popping peanuts. So good!
Soybeans are also full of good nutrients and are really growing in popularity in the health food arena, though they’ve been eaten in Eastern Asia for thousands of years. I recently read that one serving of soybeans has the equivalent fiber content as 4 slices of whole grain bread.
So write it down (you’ll need to if you’ve entered ‘braindead’ world like me) and plan to grow some soybeans next year. I promise it’s worth it.
Late last week I harvested the majority of the beans. After a good wash I put them in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes then removed and let dry. Most got thrown into freezer bags for later edamame use, but I saved back about a cups worth of shelled beans for this side dish I had in mind.
But then the cups worth mysteriously turned into 3/4 cup. I told you they are like eating chips, you can’t just have one.
And with the bright, bold colored green of the fresh, shelled soybeans…I couldn’t resist adding a little bit of this red beauty for a color punch duo.
Edamame Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 C quinoa, cooked
1 C fresh soybeans, boiled and shelled
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
3 green onions, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 T apple cider or rice wine vinegar
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Cook about 3/4 cup of dry quinoa in 1 1/2 cups of water or broth for about 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender. At the same time boil soybean pods in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Remove from water and let cool before removing the beans from pods.
In small pan, lightly saute pepper and onion until crisp tender. Throw in the garlic for the last few seconds, just until frangrant.
Meanwhile in small bowl mix up the juice from half a lime, olive oil, vinegar, cilantro and salt and pepper.
And finally mix the quinoa, shelled soybeans and pepper & onion mixture together and then pour lime mixture over salad and mix well. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.
This salad is very light in flavors and is good company for a nice meaty, Asian-inspired dish. I’m going to guess that the nutritional powerhouse combo of quinoa and soybeans just might cancel out that yummy fried funnel cake you ate at the State Fair. Probably not the Fried
Coronary Butter on a Stick though, sorry.
I paired it with Sweet & Sour chicken, which is by far the #1 requested recipe at this house. Believe me when I say it rivals the Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s. I make it a lot…like a lot.
Have you grown soybeans before? What was your experience and how do you prefer to eat them?