Easy and Healthy Snack: Edamame with Black Pepper and Star Anise | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Easy and Healthy Snack: Edamame with Black Pepper and Star Anise

Easy and Healthy Snack: Edamame with Pepper and Star Anise

The best appetizers probably are the simplest.

This is especially true when I need to free myself for watching the Olympic games but want something good to snack on.

So I cooked this, which is both a popular Chinese and Japanese appetizer, called mao dou (毛豆) and edamame (枝豆) respectively. Either style, they are made pretty much the same way: you boil them in water, a little seasonings (usually salt), then cook them until tender.

In the salted water, I added a couple of Chinese star anise which gave the dish a distinct aroma. You may also drizzle in some sesame oil for added flavors.

Anticipated that we would constantly play with our TV remote controls while snacking on the beans, I skipped greasing them. All because we ate them with no chopsticks or forks, but simply, our fingers, holding an edamame pod and gently squeezing out the beans. Yet it is fun!

It is a healthy snack, too. Whether it is called mao dou, meaning “hairy beans”, or edamame, “beans on branches”, both of them refer to the same food: fresh soy beans. Which also means, it contains many benefits that dried soy beans have: isoflavones, soy proteins, fibers, and etc.

Easy and Healthy Snack: Edamame with Pepper and Star Anise

This appetizer is often served cold, but honestly, I can’t help munching a few of them as soon as they are cooked and marinaded (when still warm). Irresistible though, I must say it is worth waiting a few hours in order for the flavors of marinades to develop in the cooked beans. For variations, just replace black peppers with Sichuan peppercorns for an unique tongue-numbness taste.

  • Ingredients
  • 300g unshelled edamame
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups water
  • Marinades
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, optional

Boiling Edamame with Pepper and Star Anise


Wash edamame pods. If their skins are tough and dusty, you may wet them a bit and rub their pods with some coarse salt before washing (wear hand gloves to avoid them scratching your skins) .

In a pot, pour in 3 cups of waters with salt, crushed black peppers and garlic, bring it to a boil. Add unshelled edamames and continue to boil under tender. You may start checking doness in 7 to 8 minutes. I cooked mine for about 10 minutes.

Discard water.

Add marinades to the edamames, mixing well.

Let cool; store in fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve cold (I enjoy it warm too, and reheating is nice for me).

Easy and Healthy Snack: Edamame with Pepper and Star Anise


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  1. Juliana

    I like the idea of adding flavor to the edamame…I often just boiled…thank you so much for the recipe.
    Hope you are having a nice wek 🙂

  2. tigerfish

    At least you bother to season and give them flavor when cooking them! I usually just cook them, plain, in boiling water.

    This is definitely better snack than potato chips (which I just snacked on yesterday while watching Olympics. gymnastics and swimming yesterday.) :O

  3. TasteHongKong

    I guess yours were finished fast too (I had made this again yesterday).

  4. mycookinghut

    This is really interesting way to cook edamame!

  5. Helena

    Hi ! Nice idea, all the more so I’ve such a craving for greens at this time !
    Should I procede otherwise with frozen edamames ? And if eaten warm, how do you reheat them ?

  6. TasteHongKong

    Yes, just thaw frozen edamames, boil them according to instructions, but with the seasonings and marinades here. (you may take less than 8 minutes to do this because many of them are half-cooked or cooked).
    To reheat, my simple way is to let it sit in the oven, at slightly below 100 degree C until it warms up again (I didn’t time much).

  7. Helena

    Thanks for your quick response, and for the recipe of course ! I’m glad to know I’m able to make this appetizing snack, though I can’t spend much time in front of the TV, unluckily…but I may also snack on edamames in front of my computer, right ? 😉
    Hope you’ll have a nice week.

  8. lena

    i only know that these edamame beans are often cook and use in salads, this is another quickie idea of snacking them!

  9. Lori

    I’d never thought of using star anise with edamame. What a great idea! My husband loves that spice so it would go over well here.

  10. food-4tots

    Never try flavouring edamame before. What a brilliant idea to spice them up!!

  11. Lucy L

    Looks like a wonderful recipe! Have been permenantely glued to the TV for the olympics since it’s started! 🙂

  12. wiffy

    They definitely make a healthy, delicious snack. I have been snacking sinful tidbits like potato chips =P

  13. Damaris @TendByGlam

    This looks amazing! I love the anise twist.

  14. Mary Moh

    I love to snack on these too. They are just addictive. I usually just boil them with a little salt. Love the natural sweetness. But love your way of adding other ingredients. That would make it even more addictive I’m sure 😀

  15. Pepy | Indonesia Eats

    Love this simple snack!