“Beer and edamame” are the quintessential combination of the Japanese summer.
Can you find “edamame” in Japanese restaurants in your country?
“Edamame” became popular out of Japan around the year 2000. It became the second most searched keyword related to Japanese food on the internet after “sushi,” which made it known all around the world as a popular Japanese food.
In America, it became popular after being introduced in magazines and on TV as a healthy food, and it became easily available at supermarkets and organic food stores.
The Japanese like to have edamame as a snack to go with a drink. Especially during the hot summer season, “cold beer with edamame” is an excellent combination.
At Japanese style bars “Izakaya”, a small appetizer called “otooshi” is brought to the table together with individual towels for guests to wipe their hands. Edamame is one of the standard dishes that may be served as “otooshi.” Izakaya where one can have cheap drinks are popular among tourists, and the fact that people who had edamame at these places became crazy about them is the reason that they came to be known internationally.
Edamame are obtained from the harvest of immature soybeans, have a high nutritional value and are rich in vitamins and iron. They have methionine, which promotes the breakdown of alcohol and is helpful when one drinks too much and with hangovers, so having them with beer is actually a reasonable combination. It is usual to simply boil them with salt in order to enjoy their rich taste in a simple way.
As you take the beans out of the pod one by one and rhythmically put them into your mouth, the motion becomes a habit and you find it hard to stop, don’t you?
Sweets made with “zunda,” a paste created by mashing boiled edamame, are popular too. Sendai city, in Miyagi Prefecture, is famous for the production of zunda, and many kinds of sweets such as zunda mochi (rice cakes covered in zunda paste,) shakes, cakes, and pudding, are available for sale.
The soft texture of zunda paste and its gentle sweetness combine into a deliciously addictive taste. Be sure to try some zunda sweets if you ever visit Sendai!