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Edamame vs. Soybeans — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 31, 2024
Edamame are young, green soybeans harvested before maturing, typically served in pods, while soybeans are fully matured, dried beans used in various products like tofu and soy milk.
Edamame vs. Soybeans — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Edamame and Soybeans


Key Differences

Edamame refers to young soybeans harvested before they ripen or harden. They are commonly served in their pods, often steamed with salt. Soybeans, on the other hand, are the matured form of the same beans, typically dried and used in a variety of food products.
The texture of edamame is softer and more buttery compared to mature soybeans. Soybeans, when fully matured, are harder and drier, requiring longer cooking times. Both are recognized for their nutritional value, being high in protein and other nutrients.
Edamame is often eaten as a snack or appetizer, simply boiled or steamed and lightly salted. Soybeans are versatile in their use, processed into products like tofu, soy milk, and soy sauce, and used in numerous culinary applications.
The taste of edamame is mildly sweet and grassy, contrasting with the nuttier and more pronounced flavor of mature soybeans. Both forms, however, are integral to various cuisines, particularly in Asian dishes.
In terms of cultivation, edamame is harvested while the pods are still green and soft. Soybeans are left to mature until the pods dry and turn brown, signaling readiness for harvest and further processing.

Comparison Chart

Stage of Harvest

Young and green
Fully matured and dried


Soft and buttery
Harder and drier

Common Usage

Eaten as a snack or appetizer
Used in various products like tofu, soy milk


Mildly sweet and grassy
Nuttier and more pronounced

Culinary Preparation

Boiled or steamed, served in pods
Processed or cooked in a variety of ways

Compare with Definitions


Often eaten by squeezing beans out of the pod.
Eating edamame is fun; you pop the beans right into your mouth.


Dried beans with a nutty flavor.
I use ground soybeans as a protein-rich addition to my smoothies.


Soft-textured beans with a mild flavor.
Edamame adds a delightful taste to salads.


Mature beans used in various food products.
Soybeans are essential for making tofu and soy milk.


A popular snack in East Asian cuisine.
Edamame is a staple appetizer in Japanese restaurants.


Used in producing soy sauce and oil.
Soybeans are processed to make cooking oil and soy sauce.


A healthy appetizer served in pods.
We started our meal with a bowl of steamed edamame.


A versatile ingredient in global cuisines.
Soybeans are a key ingredient in many vegetarian dishes.


Young, green soybeans harvested early.
I love snacking on edamame while watching movies.


Harvested when fully matured and dried.
Farmers harvest soybeans in the fall when they're dry.


Fresh green soybeans boiled as a vegetable.


An annual leguminous plant (Glycine max) native to East Asia, widely cultivated for its seeds, which are used for food, as a source of oil, and as animal feed.


A seed of this plant.


Plural of soybean

Common Curiosities

What are soybeans?

Fully matured beans used in various food products.

How are edamame served?

Often steamed in pods and lightly salted.

Is the nutritional value of edamame different from soybeans?

Both are nutritious, but edamame is lower in calories and fat.

What products are made from soybeans?

Tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, and soy oil.

What is the taste of edamame?

Mildly sweet and grassy.

What are edamame?

Young, green soybeans typically eaten as a snack.

Are soybeans eaten as a snack like edamame?

No, they're usually processed or cooked in dishes.

How do you cook edamame?

Typically boiled or steamed, served in their pods.

Can edamame be eaten raw?

It's usually cooked (steamed or boiled) for better taste and digestibility.

What are some common uses for soybeans?

Making tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, and as a meat substitute.

Can edamame be used in main dishes?

Yes, it's great in salads, stir-fries, and as a side dish.

How do soybeans taste?

They have a nuttier and more pronounced flavor.

Are soybeans and edamame the same plant?

Yes, they are the same plant harvested at different stages.

Are both edamame and soybeans high in protein?

Yes, they are excellent sources of plant-based protein.

Is it necessary to shell edamame before eating?

Yes, typically only the beans inside the pods are eaten.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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