Poke Fun at Soybeans

Despite rising temperatures and flourishing green foliage, my mind still wanders back to the tropical coasts of Hawaii. So distant in memory that it all seems like a dream, it’s hard to imagine what paradise looks like at this time of year. If the seasons don’t change drastically, do the foods? Although I’m one of the biggest proponents out there for eating seasonally, part of me clings to the hope that nothing ever changes on the islands. Without distinct seasons, it’s a perfectly reasonable concept, I reason with myself, trying to ignore how selfish the desire is. Truthfully, nothing ever stays quite the same, but I’m optimistic that the food culture will remain just as vibrant day in and day out, unfettered by the passage of time.

Progress is definitely on the horizons, and that is one adjustment I would never stand in the way of. Vegan renditions of classic Hawaiian fare proved somewhat difficult to come by, making the random sighting of soybean poke at a nondescript Foodland grocery store such a delightful shock to the system. Were my eyes deceiving me? Poke, defined as a preparation of raw fish, in bean format? Not a chance in hell would I leave without this fabulous impulse buy; a full pound came back to the hotel room with me that evening, and not an ounce remained by daybreak.

A stroke of simple brilliance, the combination of flavors fuse to create something that all palates can appreciate. With the savory flavors of garlic, soy sauce, and the bright pop of red pepper flakes melded throughout, you can’t go wrong. It was the first thing I tried to recreate upon my return home, so it’s about time this appetizer made it into the blog’s spotlight. For parties or gatherings, this stuff goes fast- You may want to double or even triple the amounts.

Yield: Makes 4 – 6 Snack-Sized Servings

Soybean Poke

Soybean Poke

Bearing the savory flavors of garlic, soy sauce, and the bright pop of red pepper flakes melded throughout, you can’t go wrong with these savory, satisfying soybeans.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 Pound Frozen Edamame in Shells
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (3 - Cloves) Finely Minced Garlic
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Coarse Sea Salt, to Taste


  1. In a medium or large stock pot, set about 2 quarts of water over medium heat and cover with the lid. Bring it up to a boil before tossing in the frozen edamame- No need to thaw. Boil uncovered for 3 - 4 minutes, until the pods are thawed and tender. If you overcook them, the beans will start ejecting themselves from their shells, but they're still just as tasty, if a bit softer in texture. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine both oils and the minced garlic in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is aromatic but not quite browned. Add in the prepared edamame along with the red pepper flakes and soy sauce, tossing to incorporate. Saute for just 2 - 3 minutes longer to infuse the soybeans with the marinade.
  3. Turn off the heat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add a pinch of salt over the top if desired, but use that salt sparingly! The soy sauce already adds quite a bit of sodium into the mix, so you may find it doesn't need any extra at all.
  4. Enjoy hot or or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 153Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 364mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

28 thoughts on “Poke Fun at Soybeans

  1. Yum! I’ve never been to Hawaii but I love edamame and the flavours you add to this recipe sound divine! I’ll have to give it a try next time I make them for a snack. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I remember having this (or pretty much this) at Wagamama in Queensland a few years back. So good. Is there anything edamame can’t do?

  3. Hawai’i does indeed have seasons. Trying to impose a “spring/summer/fall/winter” seasonal structure may just frustrate you; given the famous range of micro-climates here, nearly every type of weather can be experienced at various times throughout the year.

    If you’d like to think of food seasons, although we’ve gotten skewed by the same reasons you can find tomatoes at the grocery store year-round, some things still operate on their own schedule. Mango season has just started, for example.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy edamame and I can’t wait to try it. I’m afraid if I don’t share it with a few friends I might be tempted to eat the whole thing!

  5. these look absolutely perfect, hannah! i always order edamame as an appetizer at japanese restaurants, and this looks like a delicious variation.

  6. I’ve been to Hawaii but I’ve never heard of poke. I’m saving this recipe for later so I can give it a shot.

  7. What a perfect recipe! I usually just boil the edamame and salt them later. but I think this marinade will give them a punchy kick.
    Would be absolutely perfect for parties or small gatherings!

  8. Such an easy but great recipe. Thanks so much for posting, will certainly give this a try. Laid this recipe out in such an easy way that even I can follow it. Picture looks wonderful as well.

    Thanks for all that you do and I look forward to following your site and learning about more great recipes.

  9. Our family loves Edamame and I usually add the sesame oil and salt but the addition of red peppers is brilliant and I think my teenagers would think so too. This is a healthy and great snack that even if you ate the whole pound you should not have too much guilt, after all most of it is the shells. Take care, BAM

  10. Hannah, I love the idea of adding extra flavors to the edamame…I will try this next time boiling them…
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a great week :)

  11. Lovely party dish. only drawback for me is that it’s hard to find non-GMO soybeans around where I live. Otherwise, I’d definitely give this a go for this weekend party.

Leave a Reply