How long does edamame last?

Edamame translated from Japanese to beans on branches. Edamame are immature soybeans still in their pods, but these little fellows pack a punch and are considered a superfood. Edamame has been harvested for more than two centuries, and they are low in fat and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Edamame is gaining traction around the planet as people discover that these small soybeans contain a healthier source of protein than most meats and have more benefits than most other foods.

Edamame outside of Asia is exported and is mainly frozen to maintain its shelf life. For this reason, this article will explore the shelf life of edamame and answer frequently asked questions so you can buy edamame with confidence.

Let’s get into it.

Does Edamame expire?

Fresh Edamame has a short shelf life, as you would expect. This immature soybean has not fully developed and is softer than ordinary soybeans, which makes it susceptible to diminishing texture and starting to go bad or rot within a short time.

If you can find fresh edamame in your grocery store, you should be happy, but you should be aware that it can only stay in the fridge for maybe a day or two at the maximum before it turns bad or expires.

The good news is Edamame is easy to cook and once cooked. The shelf life becomes much longer. You can keep cooked edamame in the fridge for a week. It will need to be in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

There are other ways to cook edamame, such as dry roasting, which extends the shelf life even. Further, this is a versatile snack but needs to be cooked pretty smart to keep it in good condition so you can get the benefits from this supper food.

Does Edamame need to be covered in the fridge?

Edamame is a delicate little bean and should be treated that way. After cooking edamame, let it cool so it just warms, place in a suitable size container and then place it in the fridge. The container should be airtight with a lid that clicks into place.

The selling lid is going to do two things. It will prevent bacteria from contaminating the edamame beans and stop the edamame from being tainted by other food odors in the fridge. Some cheeses and even cooked meats can taint edamame easily, which takes away from the charm of snacking on these healthy beans.

Does it make a difference to cover the edamame? Yes, it does. You may think refrigeration is a haven for storing foods, and it is. Still, due to the door opening and closing many times throughout the day, the fridge can become a moist place to be, encouraging mold growth and other bacteria to grow on tube edamame.

Can you put warm edamame in the fridge?

Yes, but it should not be hot. This is the reason why you avoid placing hot or warm items in the fridge. It raises the internal temperature of the fridge. The refrigerant can’t cool the fridge fast enough to remove the constant radiating heat source. Once the heat rises above 40°F, everything stirred in the fridge falls into the danger zone.

The temperature range for the danger zone is 40 to 140℉. Between these two temperatures, bacteria growth accelerates exponentially, which could render all of the food in your fridge as garbage in as quick as two hours.

However, leaving edamame beans to cool for thirty minutes and then placing them in the fridge will not affect the other foods.

Does edamame need to be refrigerated?

Fresh edamame needs to be refrigerated. Boiled edamame should be consumed or refrigerated in an airtight container. Dry roasted edamame could stay out of the fridge due to the cooking method as long as it is stored correctly.

Refrigeration does prevent bacteria growth and extends the shelf life of perishable products.

Frozen edamame should only be in the fridge during the thawing process.

How long can edamame sit out?

Cooked edamame should not be left out for long; it will deteriorate. We know that edamame is a popular bar snack and compliments a light beer very well, but the bowls of edamame are never full, and the beans are consumed relatively quickly.

The US USDA states that perishable foods such as Edamame beans should not sit out for more than two hours. After two hours, the bacterial load on the beans will have increased significantly, rendering the beans potentially dangerous to eat.

If the beans have reached two hours, they should be discarded.

How long does Edamame last in the fridge?

Edamame has a short shelf life. Cooked edamame will last for up to 7 days in the fridge if stored correctly. Cooked edamame should be stirred in an airtight container to avoid bacteria load and moisture content in the fridge.

Fresh Edamame can be stored in the fridge for only two days before it degrades and is not edible.

Edamame shelf life.

Room TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Fresh Raw Edamame last1 Day2 Days12 months
Cooked Edamame last1 Hour7 Days12  months

Does frozen edamame go bad?

In theory, any food constantly stored at 0℉ or below has an indefinite shelf life. However, the reality is often different, and the truth is yes, you can store edamame in the freezer for up to 12 months, but this will depend on how you store the edamame.

You will need to store edamame with freezer burn in the back of your mind. Preventing freezer burn is the key to long-term freezing for edamame.

Once the edamame is cooked, plunge it into ice water for rapid cooling, drain the water and pat dry the edamame. Place the edamame into portion sizes and place it in a Ziploc bag. Roll the Ziploc bag to expel as much air as possible, and seal the bag.

Keeping the freezer burn in mind, tightly wrap the individual bags in aluminum foil and place the package in an airtight container. The edamame is not ready for freezing.

Fresh edamame needs to be blanched before freezing. This will destroy enzymes in the bean that could alter the flavor of the bean when it’s thawed for further cooking.

Can you keep fresh edamame longer?

It is possible, but it will depend on how you select your edamame. If you are buying edamame from the grocery store, then you are in the dark about its freshness. When was it picked? It is impossible to tell?

If you are an expert and have been buying edamame for a long time, you may be able to make an on-the-hoof assessment of the quality of the edamame by feel and smell.

If you can get to a farmers market, you have a better chance of buying fresh edamame, and most sellers will be honest and declare how fresh the edamame is.

Farmers tend to select the immature edamame beans the day before attending the farmers market, so you will likely get the freshest product available there.

There are telltale signs if the edamame you are buying is fresh as can be. Edamame should not be covered in black spots or have any signs of bruising or mishandling to the shell.

Edamame should look clean and be bright green. If there are signs of damage or slime coming from the bean, don’t buy it.

Can you eat edamame raw?

No. It’s essential to cook edamame beans or any soybean before consuming it. Soybeans contain enzymes that are considered poisonous, so never be tempted to start munching on raw edamame.

Is eating edamame good for you?

Given their high protein content—about 15% of the bean is protein—soybeans are very nutrient-dense and frequently serve as a cornerstone of plant-based diets. 

They are one of the few vegetables to include all nine of the required amino acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 chains are among the polyunsaturated oils that are abundant in beans.

They are also a good source of calcium, manganese, iron, and other vitamins like K, A, and folate. They also contain a lot of fiber, although not all of it is digestible.

However, there can be too much of a good thing because soybeans also contain phytic acid, which can create digestive system inhibitors that impede the absorption of minerals. 

They also contain oxalates, which can irritate digestive system mucous membranes and even cause long-term inflammation in certain people. Like anything else, moderation is the key to enjoying edamame.

Final thoughts

Edamame is a versatile food cornerstone of many vegetarian diets. Still, meat eaters can chow down on edamame as it tastes great, has a beautiful texture, and the protein is healthy without unsaturated fats.

Edamame is delicate and fragile because it is immature when harvested, which dramatically shortens the shelf life of this superfood. However, the best way to store edamame has to be freezing.

However, freezer burn can ruin edamame, so proper packaging is essential before freezing.

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