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Spicy edamame is an easy, healthy snack or side dish with a kick! It’s ready in minutes and has just the right level of heat.

Spicy edamame
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Here’s our favorite snack or side dish with a kick: spicy edamame! Eating soy beans in the pod is one of life’s pleasures, pulling the beans out with your teeth with that satisfying pop. (Right?) To take this healthy veggie to the next level: make it spicy. Yes, adding just a little heat makes this totally irresistible! The spice helps you slow down and enjoy these babies, since a bowl of our classic edamame is usually gone in a flash. Here are all our secrets!

What’s in this spicy edamame?

This spicy edamame recipe has just 5 ingredients, but they’re each important to achieving just the right flavor. It’s tasty and nuanced, with just the right level of heat. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Frozen edamame in pods: not shelled! see below for more.
  • Toasted sesame oil: make sure to find toasted not “sesame oil”, since it has a much stronger flavor
  • Garlic chili sauce brings just the right amount of heat
  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt
Edamame pods in strainer

Use edamame in pods for this recipe

Edamame is soy beans that are picked when they’re young and green, versus the mature soy used to make tofu. You can buy edamame two ways: frozen shelled and frozen in pods. You’ll want to make sure to use the pods version for this recipe.

  • Edamame in pods are the kind served in Japanese restaurants as a snack or side. You pop the beans out into your mouth using your teeth. See also Easy Edamame.
  • Shelled edamame can be used in salads, fried rice, noodle bowls, etc. You can also serve shelled edamame as a side dish: go to Shelled Edamame.

What is chili garlic sauce?

Garlic chili sauce is an Asian-style condiment you might see on the table at Thai or Japanese restaurants. It’s similar to Sriracha, but we like it even better! It’s a bit thicker, made with chilies and lots of garlic. It tastes a little brighter than Sriracha and has more nuance. It lasts for months and is absolutely worth adding to your fridge!

The heat level of garlic chili sauce was just right in this spicy edamame recipe. Because of its thicker consistency, it adds a nice look with little chilis that stick to the edamame. But you can also use the hot sauces listed below!

Spicy edamame

Other hot sauces that work for spicy edamame

If you can’t find garlic chili sauce, you can use a few other Asian-style hot sauces that might already be in your refrigerator:

  • Sambal oolek: This is an Indonesian-style hot sauce or paste, made with chilis and garlic, ginger, scallions, and lime juice. It’s spicier than chili garlic sauce, which is why we didn’t use it here.
  • Sriracha: Sriracha is always our top choice for an Asian-style hot sauce! Using it in spicy edamame is tasty: it just doesn’t have the beautiful look of the chunky peppers.

Serve with a bowl for pods

Once you’ve boiled up a pot of the edamame and flavored it, you’ll eat it with your hands and open the pods with your teeth. When you serve spicy edamame, don’t forget to serve it with a small bowl for the discarded pods. It’s much easier and cleaner, especially if you’re entertaining. You may also want to serve with towels since the hot sauce gets on your fingers while eating!

Spicy edamame

Toasted sesame oil vs sesame oil

You can find two types of sesame oil at the store, so make sure to get toasted sesame oil for this recipe! Toasted sesame oil has a strong, nutty flavor: it’s intended for flavoring foods. It usually comes in a small bottle since it’s used in smaller quantities. Sesame oil has a neutral flavor and is used for cooking.

Ways to serve spicy edamame

There are so many ways to serve spicy edamame! It’s packed with plant-based protein, so it’s a great vegan snack or appetizer for a vegan meal. And of course, it’s perfect to go with sushi! Or you can simply serve it as a snack when you’re craving something savory and spicy. Here are some ideas for serving as a side dish:

This spicy edamame recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Spicy edamame

Spicy Edamame

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Spicy edamame is an easy, healthy snack or side dish with a kick! It’s ready in minutes and has just the right level of heat.


  • 1 pound frozen edamame in pods (in the shell)
  • ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil*
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt, plus more for the water
  • ~1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, to taste
  • Optional garnish: Toasted sesame seeds


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the edamame and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Boil the edamame until bright green and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes, then drain.
  2. Place the edamame in a bowl. Add the toasted sesame oil and salt, then grate the garlic clove into the bowl (using a microplane). Toss gently until everything is evenly coated, breaking up any clumps of the garlic that stick together. Add the chili garlic sauce, starting with less and gradually adding more to taste (we used about 1 tablespoon). Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm, with a smaller bowl for the discarded pods.


*Make sure to look for toasted, not regular sesame oil. It has a much stronger flavor.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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