Found in many Japanese and Korean restaurants as an appetizer, edamame are fresh green soy beans served in their pods. They're sold frozen in bags at most Asian grocers and are easily prepared: simply parboil them, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt or soy sauce. To eat them, bite on the soft pod and draw the sweet, nutty-tasting beans out with your teeth, discarding the pods. Studies have shown that eating low-fat soy products like edamame can help reduce cholesterol, while some believe soy has protective effects against cancer and can control PMS as well as hot flashes.
Edamame also make a damn fine cole slaw. Thinly slice 4 large celery ribs and coarsely chop 2 tablespoons of celery leaves. Cook 2 cups of edamame for 5 minutes in a saucepan of boiling water. Drain and refresh under cold water. Shell the soybeans and pat dry. In a salad bowl, toss the soybeans, celery and celery leaves with 2 slivered scallions, 1/4 cup of coriander leaves, and 1 tablespoon of ripped mint leaves. In separate bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice together with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Pour the dressing over the veggies, season with salt, toss and serve.