Tag Archives: edamame

Japan-Themed Date


Well… It’s been a while. Earlier this year we had several house guests, some short-term and others not-so-short-term, which kept us busy. Then there was my computer breaking, which has made it a major task to even check e-mail, never mind uploading pictures, linking posts, and blogging. Then there was finding out that we’re going to be having a BABY and the traveling and appointments away from our city, so yes, I’ve been adequately distracted. However, I’m back and ready to continue sharing some of our China experiences, ideas, resources, etc. from time to time.

We’ve been continuing with our second year of date-around-the-world monthly dates. In June we traveled to Japan. We had a whole lot of good food & a great time.

Here are some pictures of our experience and some ideas for creating your own at-home Japan date:

  • Wear some sort of Japanese-themed outfit, something that looks like a kimono (or a bathrobe will work, too!)





  • Decorate with paper fans or lanterns.
  • Sit on the floor with a mat. We used an old bamboo mat that came with our apartment.
  • Watch a karate documentary and do a karate lesson together.
  • Do origami. This site has lots of great printable instructions.
  • Listen to Japanese music.


Chickpea Edamame Salad


This chickpea edamame salad was a good cold salad for dinner, full of protein and paired well with some whole wheat sourdough bread. It was a nice balance of salty with just a little bit of sweet from the Craisins with lots of delicious olive oil. Perfect for a fall dinner!


3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

3/4 cup shelled edamame

1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup finely diced green bell pepper

1/4 cup finely diced carrots

3 Tablespoons dried cranberries

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon white rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

Directions and Notes:

1. Combine the chickpeas, edamame, red and green bell peppers, carrots, cranberries, and garlic in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, basil, and rosemary.

3. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture, mix, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend before serving.

Recipe slightly adapted from Mother Thyme.


Simple-As-It-Gets Edamame


Recently I made an edamame soup (which I so highly recommend!). This week, however, I decided I wanted to buy the unshelled edamame and cook it that way. I’d heard it was a really good snack, and I’d heard right! It’s so fun to experiment with a food that’s almost totally brand new to me! Austin and I liked this stuff and our little Chinese “son” was happy to finish it off during our movie night!


unshelled edamame


Directions and Notes

1. Bring salted water to a boil.

2. When the water is at a full rolling boil, add the edamame pods and boil for 5-7 minutes until the edamame is at the level of doneness that you like.

3. Drain the edamame and put it on a plate.

4. Salt generously.

5. To eat, hold the pod sideways and squeeze along one side. The seeds will pop out easily into your mouth. Discard the outer shells.

Edamame Soup


This year was my first year to buy and experiment with cooking edamame (in Chinese: 毛豆), and we love it! We can buy it already shelled at the local market, it’s high in protein, and the flavor is great! Tonight I experimented with making an edamame soup, and Austin said it was one of the best things he’s had in a long time (and that was after having soft pretzels with cheese dip last night!). We’re definitely keeping this recipe to make again!


2 Tablespoons + 1 Tablespoon oil (divided)

1 cup onion wedges

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, cut into 1″ pieces

4 cups of water

2 Tablespoons chicken broth granules

4 cups shelled edamame

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sliced mushrooms

about 3/4 cup milk or chicken broth

Directions and Notes
1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and saute for about 5 minutes until fragrant. If it seems too dry any time, add a Tablespoon or two of water to prevent burning.

2. Add the water, chicken granules, edamame, salt, and pepper, and boil for about 10 minutes until the edamame is tender. Turn off heat and set aside.

3. In a separate pan, heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil, and saute the sliced mushrooms until tender.

4. When the water/ edamame mixture is cool enough to be added to a blender, blend it until smooth.

5. Return mixture to the original pot, stir in the sauteed mushrooms, and add up to 3/4 cup milk or other liquid until the soup reaches desired consistency. Heat on low until soup is warmed through.