Enjoy edamame with Sichuan peppers as an easy, healthy appetizer or snack. My simple recipe for perfectly cooked edamame is ready in 10 minutes or less. This 2 ingredient recipe is a garlic-free, no oil added variation of spicy edamame, with spicier options. It is also free of 8 out of 9 top allergens.
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What is edamame?
Edamame is a Japanese dish that is made with green, immature soybeans. The edamame pods are boiled and seasoned with salt and/or other spices. This edamame recipe involves a toss with freshly ground and toasted Sichuan pepper, which you can adjust according to your preference for spiciness.
I love to order edamame at Japanese restaurants because it’s a healthy, plant based protein, full of vitamins and fiber. They’re often served plain or salted but my favorite variation is spicy edamame, which is served with some sichuan pepper.
Frozen edamame is one of my grocery store staples available all year round and I make edamame at least once or twice a week. Store bought frozen edamame is usually cooked and seasoned with salt. You could simply defrost and eat which is perfect for camping, road trips, lunch boxes, etc..
Easiest way to cook edamame
Edamame is more delicious when served warm. However, I never like edamame when I follow package cooking instructions because the edamame turn out soft and mushy.
The easiest way to prepare frozen edamame is boil water, add the frozen edamame, cover the pot with a lid, turn off the heat, and set a timer for 5 minutes. Then drain the edamame and enjoy perfectly warm, tender, and crisp edamame.
What is Sichuan pepper?
Sichuan pepper, sometimes referred to as sichuan peppercorns, are actually not a peppercorn (like black pepper or white pepper). Sichuan peppers are dried flower husks, a thick bright red outer layer, picked from prickly ash trees.
Taste a piece of Sichuan pepper and we will first notice a spicy and citrus taste and then a mild numbing sensation in our mouth temporarily. You might see the word “mala” in reference to Sichuan cuisine. “Ma” refers to the numbing sensation and “la” refers to the spiciness.
Spicy the way you like it
I started using sichuan pepper when I started writing the Chinese Instant Pot Cookbook in order to create a collection of recipes that represent a variety of Chinese cuisines. My tummy and I prefer mild spiciness but I do like the subtle tongue numbing sensation from freshly ground sichuan peppers.
If you love the mala flavor and want it more spicy, use coarsely ground chunky pieces of sichuan peppercorns and use a little more. People who like to add more chili oil to their spicy foods can definitely do that with this recipe! It’s always easier to add more spice as needed than to try and lessen the spiciness.
Garlic-free and with no added oil
Spicy edamame usually involves making a simple garlic-chili oil, which is wonderful. There are many health benefits to eating garlic as well as reasons to eat moderately or to avoid such as garlic allergy or intolerances.
I use moderate amounts of garlic in my cooking for my family. One of my favorite recipes is Garlic Noodles but I have to be mindful of the frequency and timing of cooking with extra garlic. Some family members need to make an effort to “sweat it out” which can be an inconvenience for them. I avoid cooking with garlic before and after any procedures to minimize the risk of some complications.
Since I do not need to fry the garlic, it’s not necessary to include oil in the recipe.
Allergy Aware Edamame with Sichuan Peppers
This recipe uses whole edamame, which is an immature form of soy beans. Other than containing soy, this recipe is free of 8 of the top 9 allergens.
I usually buy frozen edamame from Trader Joe’s or from local Asian markets. Look for nice green colored pods that look plump and fresh even though frozen.
When shopping for Sichuan peppers, you might be able to find top allergen free Spicely Sichuan peppercorns in a grocery store spice section. I ordered online from Mala Market and the owner was very helpful to check for allergens for me.
Sichuan peppers have a reddish color, a slightly bumpy texture, and look like a flower husk. I point out the appearance of the Sichuan peppercorn because I also notice a possibilty to mix up Sichuan peppercorns (flower husks) with pink peppercorns (similar color but round).
It’s important to note the visual differences between pink peppercorns and Sichuan peppers because pink peppercorn may be cross-reactive for some people with cashew and/or pistachio allergies. Look for the word Sichuan (or Szechuan, which is an older spelling variation) on the packaging.
Edamame with Sichuan Peppers
Enjoy edamame with Sichuan peppers as an easy, healthy appetizer or snack. My simple recipe for perfectly cooked edamame is ready in 10 minutes or less. This 2 ingredient recipe is a garlic-free, no oil added variation of spicy spicy edamame, and free of 8 out of 9 top allergens, with options for those who love big spicy flavors.
- 1 pound frozen edamame (cooked)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppers freshly ground or crushed (more for garnish)
Fill a 2-quart pot of water halfway and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add the frozen edamame, cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a large or medium sized frying pan on medium heat. Add the freshly ground or crushed Sichuan peppers and toast until fragrant, remove the pan from heat.
When the edamame is ready, drain, and transfer to the frying pan and toss to coat the edamame pods with Sichuan pepper. Sprinkle more freshly ground Sichuan peppers as desired for garnish.
- In case the frozen edamame are raw, cook them on medium heat for 5 minutes instead of turning off the heat or cook according to the package instructions.
- If you like it more spicy, use more Sichuan peppers or drizzle with your favorite chili oil.
Foods to eat with edamame
I eat edamame with everything, especially when I want to eat something healthy and filling. It’s a great little side dish to eat with some of my other favorite Japanese inspired entrees and sides:
- Shoyu Ramen with Panko Breaded Chicken & Spinach – great for cold days when you crave a hot soupy noodle bowl.
- Oyako Donburi (Chicken & Egg Over Rice) Recipe – pure comfort food, easy to prep ahead and make for a weeknight dinner
- Hiyashi Chuka: Japanese Style Cold Noodle Salad – my favorite thing to make when the weather is hot
- Japanese Sweet Cucumber Salad Recipe – can never have too many veggie sides!
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