How To Store Edamame In The Fridge And Freezer So It Stays Fresh

As a small but mighty source of protein, fiber, and nutrients, edamame shows versatility as an ingredient that can raise the nutritional value of a dish without radically altering its flavor. Keep a stash of these young soybeans around and enjoy them as more than just a snack or a crunchy roasted side dish. You can elevate fried chicken with a breading made of crushed seasoned edamame. Or you can puree the beans into a creamy and vibrantly colored soup or blend them with your favorite fruit smoothie, too.

As you find more ways of incorporating these lightly flavored legumes into your favorite recipes, be mindful of their proper storage. Fresh edamame left out at room temperature are best consumed on the same day you purchase them. For longer storage, edamame not only need a cooler temperature (32 F) to maintain freshness but also 95% humidity according to research by the South Dakota State University. Keep your fresh edamame pods in the fridge wrapped in a perforated plastic bag so the legumes retain their moisture while still receiving sufficient airflow that will prevent mold and bacteria from developing. Place them in the crisper so they retain their quality and flavor for up to 5 days.

Clean and blanch the edamame pods before freezing

Edamame can also be frozen for longer-term storage. However, before placing them in the freezer, you must clean and blanch the pods first. Do this by heating water mixed with salt; the recommended ratio is 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. As you wait for it to boil, prepare a large bowl of water with ice cubes and place your fresh edamame in a strainer or colander. Once the salted water simmers, plunge the strainer into the boiling water. After exactly three minutes, remove it immediately and immerse the pods in iced water for a few minutes. Drain the strainer of excess water before transferring the edamame onto a paper or cloth towel. Pat the legumes gently to dry. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the dried pods on it. Place it in the freezer for an hour then transfer the now-firm legumes into air-tight freezer bags labeled with the date when you prepared them for storage. Remove excess air from the bags before sealing them closed and storing them to avoid freezer burn. When properly prepared for freezing, fresh edamame can last for up to 12 months. 

Drying with an oven also preserves fresh edamame, although a study by Virginia State University's Agricultural Research Station suggests low-heat (149 F) rather than high-heat drying (221 F). However, this process requires steaming and then shelling the pods, plus lots of monitoring, making freezing a more practical preservation method.