Braising Edamame

滷毛豆 Braising Edamame

Soy bean is so versatile. Matured soy beans make wonderful, wide range of soy products; immature soybeans (aka Edamame, from its Japanese name) with or without seed pods can be ingredients for various dish as well. I usually buy frozen Edamame in Asian store since that’s tough to get fresh ones here in Europe. A very common way to cook Edamame is to blanch the beans still encased in seed pots in salty water then serve. Braising Edamame is easy, quick to prepare a pot of very tasty food, may it be appetizer or mid-night snacks. The abundant *nutrition packed in Edamame makes it a healthy, low-carb food choice for vegan, too.

If you have read my previous recipe for Braised Radish and Tofu or Chinese Cooking Technique: 滷 (Lu) Braising, Chinese style, you’ve already got the idea how to make your own aromatic lu liquid and to braise ingredients with it. In this recipe, I’m going to show you how to reuse lu liquid by braising these Edamame. I keep my lu liquid from last time I braised radish and tofu. So when I want to reuse it, simply take the lu liquid out from refrigerator and add in new batch of spices and seasonings.



  • Edamame       250g
  • Ginger            2 slice (about thumb size)
  • Scallion          2 stems
  • Chilli               2 (optional)
  • Garlic              2 cloves
  • Coriander roots 2-3 pieces
  • Light soy sauce       1 TBS
  • Water              4-5 TBS
  • Cooking wine 1/4 TBS
  • Rock sugar       1/4 TBS


The Cooking:

  1. Thawing frozen Edamame bean pods under cold running water until it defrosts.
  2. Drain Edamame then set aside.
  3. If it is only the second time using braising liquid, add in only ginger slices, scallion, chili (omit if you don’t like spicy taste), garlic cloves, coriander roots. But iff you have been braising with the same lu liquid over three times, it’s time to replace the old spice bag (the white little pouch seen in below picture. Please refer to Braised Radish and Tofu for how to prepare one) with a new one. TIPS: New batch of spices infuse more flavor and aroma to the old lu liquid when you repeat using it. Bring to high heat until you see ripples arising to the surface of lu liquid, then turn down to medium heat before it is about to boil, let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add in Edamame. The soy beans should be covered with lu liquid. If no, simply add more water (or broth) and soy sauce, cooking wine, rock sugar into pot. TIPS: The soy sauce to water ratio should be 1 : 4~5, meaning if you add in 1 cup of soy sauce, pour in 4~5 cups of water (or broth). Remember always taste first and starting with slightly less soy sauce suggested in recipe. Because the saltiness of soy sauce may vary between brands, as well as each person’s tolerance to salty taste. For this recipe I use light soy sauce, not dark one.
  5. Bring to boil again for 2-3 minutes (raw soybeans must be cooked thoroughly before consume) then turn down to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes before you turn off heat.
  6. Serve right away if you like it hot or let it cool down completely before serving. The cooling process is key to let Edamame fully absorbs the flavor of lu liquid as I explained in Lu Braising technique.
  7. The color of a fully cooked and seasoned Edamame is slightly brownish and softer. The fuzzy skin of the pod separates easily from the inner shell, leaving it easy to eat the juicy beans by scraping the pod through your teeth. Delicious!


Good to Know:

  • Before soybeans mature and turn into yellow color, they are encased in green, fuzzy pods with short hair. The immature soybeans are green, some people call it “vegetable-type” of soybeans. 
  • Immature soybeans have slightly higher nutrition than matured soybeans. Edamame is rich in protein, containing various vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. It is also very low GI (glycemic index) food, meaning it will not boost your blood sugar quickly. Soybeans also contain Isoflavones (plant compounds that resemble estrogen, known as female sex hormone). Several studies have shown that consuming isoflavone-rich foods may reduce the risk of breast cancer. 
  • If you wish to reuse the lu liquid and develop it into master stock, always braise beans or bean curd products in separate pot, because beans or tofu products spoil lu liquid, making it difficult to preserve long. The liquid after braising such ingredients can be used as noodle soup base or to stew meat.   



Traveling around the world, I’ve seen how those Chinese take out mislead people’s perception about Chinese food. Wok fried, heavy seasoned with soy sauce and MSG, cornstarch thickened at all time is not authentic Chinese cooking. Real Chinese cuisine is mastering selections of fresh ingredients, seasonings, various cooking methods to deliver genuine taste of food that wow your taste buds. I’m no Michelin chef but someone who knows how authentic Chinese cuisine should taste like. Welcome to my dinning table and enjoy the real Chinese food. Bon appétit!