Ginger & Cumin Spiced Edamame Beans

Food shopping is one of my all-time favourite hobbies. I’m not talking about essential weekly supermarket trips to pick up staples like milk, eggs and bread. The type of food shopping I’m referring to involves leisurely strolls, carefree browsing, unintentional humming and basket swinging (out of pure happiness to be surrounded by food!). This type of food shopping is all about ENJOYMENT and RELAXATION, and requires you to shamelessly stock up on food that you DON’T need right now, but might some day enjoy.

My love of a well-stocked larder is inherited from my mother. My mother’s pantry is epic, stocked for times of rationing and natural disaster. It is heavy on the non-perishables – noodles, legumes, nuts and dried Asian ingredients such as scallops, prawns, mushrooms and fungus. And Spam, lots of Spam! I have to admit, my pantry is not dissimilar, sans the Spam of course.

When I’m released to roam through an Asian supermarket, my pulse races and my heart thumps a little harder. I love to re-discover childhood favourites such as pineapple ‘cakes’, Haw Flakes, dried sour plums, preserved cuttlefish (to reminisce, not eat!), and my favourite Asian greens. While there, I always need to stock up on long life noodles, sesame oil, miso paste, chilli sauce, mung bean vermicelli, shiitake mushrooms, dried beancurd sheets, rice vinegar, tamari and my frozen food essentials of dumplings, lotus root and edamame beans. Lots and lots of edamame beans!

Edamame, otherwise known as soy beans, they are harvested at the peak of ripening, just before the beans harden. To retain freshness and flavour, they are usually parboiled and quick-frozen, ensuring that these beans pack a nutritional punch – they are an excellent source of protein, and rich in fibre, Vitamin C and A. My freezer always contains two or three (or maybe four) bags of edamame beans, just in case the craving strikes!

Today’s recipe is full of edamame bean goodness – a quick snack or a ‘salad starter’ of pan-fried edamame beans spiced with ginger, cumin seeds and chilli.


Ginger + Cumin Spiced Edamame Beans

This is the ultimate ‘salad starter’ – a simple, tasty little vegetable dish before the main salad event.

Serves 4

vg + df

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cups (450g) edamame bean pods, frozen
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander, leaves picked

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger and cumin seeds and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Next, add the edamame beans and stir-fry for another minute. Finally, add the sesame oil along with a big pinch of sea salt and cook for another minute or so.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, top with coriander leaves, sesame seeds and another pinch of sea salt.

SNACKHetty McKinnon