Spicy Edamame

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spicy edamame

I had spicy edamame beans at a sushi restaurant for the first time a little while ago and I can tell you I have never been this surprised and impressed with a dish!

Up until that dinner I had only ever had plain steamed and salted edamame and I always found those to be “meh” at best. Well, it turns out that spicy edamame are a completely different story! They are exciting and full of interesting flavors; a bit garlicky, a bit smoky, a bit salty and a bit spicy. You get all these flavors when you bite into the pod to squeeze out the actual beans. It’s a really addictive appetizer, we ate the entire plate barely taking a breath between bites.

Naturally I tried to replicate the recipe at home. Since it seems impossible to create the smokiness you get from a restaurant-quality wok and burner at home I resorted to liquid smoke and while that’s not exactly the same thing it does come close. In addition to that I added sambal, garlic, salt and dried red pepper flakes.

The dish is easy to make, you just steam or boil the edamame beans, then heat the remaining ingredients in a bit of vegetable oil, toss the beans in the oil and voila, you’re done. If you’ve only ever had regular salted edamame I urge you to try this, it will change your view of the vegetable completely!

Recipe Tip:

Do be sure to let the cooked edamame beans dry before tossing them into the hot spices. If you don’t, they’ll end up soggy and you don’t want that. That’s really the only thing to pay attention to in this recipe, other than that it’s very easy and straight forward.


Related Post:

Looking for a main dish to serve with this edamame appetizer? Check out this Sesame Lime Cilantro Chicken Noodle Stir Fry:

sesame lime cilantro chicken noodle stir fry

spicy edamame
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5 from 1 vote

Spicy Edamame

A very quick and easy recipe for a delicious salty, smoky, garlicky and spicy edamame bean appetizer bursting with intense flavors. 
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: edamame, spicy, vegan
Servings: 2
Calories: 380kcal
Author: Nicole Branan | The Spice Train


  • 1 pound frozen edamame beans in their shells
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sambal
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)


  • Steam or boil the edamame beans according to package instructions. Drain and let dry. (Do not skip the drying period, it's important. You don't want soggy edamame.)
  • In a large pan, heat oil, garlic, liquid smoke, salt, sambal and red pepper flakes all together until fragrant.
  • Add the edamame beans, stir to coat and cook for another minute.
  • Eat the edamame by biting into the pods and squeezing out the beans. Discard the empty pods.


Calories: 380kcal

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  1. Milena says:

    This is an incredibly elegant picture, I love the shadows. I might need several bowls of edamame spiced like this:) Your use of liquid smoke is particularly appealing.

    • Nicole Branan says:

      Thank you so much, Milena! I find liquid smoke to be a fine ingredient, it’s not exactly as good as the real thing but it comes close enough. :)

  2. Louise | Cygnet Kitchen says:

    I have to say I am totally addicted to edamame beans, I always keep a bag in the freezer! I usually steam them and serve with salt and soy but I love your spicy version. I will have to try and get some liquid smoke! Gorgeous shot too, Nicole! x

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Louise! I bet you’ll like them. And the liquid smoke is actually a really nifty ingredient for all kinds of applications, I’ve used it along with spice rubs on roasted pork in the past and it really works quite well. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Liquid smoke to the rescue! I always keep a bottle of it in the fridge but I don’t always remember to use it. Thank you, Abbe! :)

  3. traci | vanilla and bean says:

    It’s so fun discovering new things; wood planks and edamame! How fun! The planks are gorgeous. I was out last month driving around and spied an old barn caving in. My friend and I stopped to ask the owner if we could take a few boards… and he said yes! I love scoring finds like that! And this edamame… I’ve had it at a Japanese restaurant and love it but I’ve never tried preparing it at home. I love how you added liquid smoke and the spicy flakes. Delicious and nourishing! Your photog here… I’m curious if you used your strobe or natural light. My husband and I were studying it just love how the light falls on the edamame. My guess is natural light.. but you’re a genius at making your strobe look natural too! Thank you for this Nicole! Delicious!!

    • Nicole B. says:

      I agree, I’m always so energized by discovering new stuff! I used my trusty strobe for this photo and I’m glad it looks like natural light, that’s what I was going for. As always, thank you so much for your kind words, Traci! :)

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