Popcorn 2.0

10.8.2008 | 11:55 am

A Note from Fatty: I misunderstood when Brad is going to do the drawing for the winners of the Italy / France Cycling Trip with Ciclismo Classico. That is, I thought he was going to do the drawing this morning, but he actually won’t have time to download all the names and choose the winners until tonight. Which means you have a few more hours to donate and possibly win the cycling tour of your dreams.

A “Come Ride With Me This Saturday” Note from Fatty: I think it’s very cool that Trek is doing a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride this Saturday. There will be rides starting at Trek stores all across the US and Canada. All proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Click here to learn more, to find out where you can join a ride, and to register. For what it’s worth, I’ll be at the ride starting at the SLC Bicycle Co, wearing my awesome new 2009 Fat Cyclist jersey. I plan to bring a few more of these jerseys to give away. If you’re inthe SLC area, why don’t you register and come ride with me? And if you’re not in the SLC area, why don’t you register and go ride starting from the Trek dealership near you?

I am always so happy when Autumn arrives. I love the cool mornings. I love the way the air feels. I love that every ride I do is strictly for fun. No training allowed.

Above all, though, I love eating with wild abandon, telling myself that I’ll get back on track “after the holidays.”

Yeah, I’m already starting my holiday eating. I like to start early.

And so it was that last night I looked forward to a delightful evening of watching the Presidential debate, while eating my favorite TV-watching snack.

Well, I’m not afraid to say that I was mightily disappointed in the debate itself.

I mean, where was Ross Perot? You can’t have a debate without Ross Perot! Stupid two-party system and its exclusionary ways.

We’ll get ‘em in 2012, Ross. Just you wait and see.

New Favorite
While I was justifiably angry that my candidate had been shut out of the debate (thus virtually guaranteeing there would be no flipcharts or colorful metaphors), I did have some comfort: I had a big bowl of my new favorite snack all ready to go.200810081103.jpg


You know, it’s even fun to say. Try it: “Edamame” (Ed-uh-MAH-may).

Now, say it again, over and over, in a singsong voice: “Edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame!”

Hoo, that’s living. I tell you.

To tell the truth, I don’t know whether I’m the first or last person in the world to fall in love with edamame, so I’m going to be cautious and guess that at least a few of you haven’t tried it yet.

In other words, I’m going to spend the rest of this post talking about edamame, and the wonderfulness thereof.

What it Is
Edamame is — very simply — not-yet-ripe soybeans, still in their pods (they look like peas in the pod), boiled in saltwater.

This description, of course, completely fails to make the sale.

What Edamame really is, of course, is popcorn, but better.

Why I Love Edamame
I have a love-hate relationship with popcorn. I love that it’s a fun finger food. I love how easy it is to prepare. I love to grab it by the handful, then eat it in big mouthfuls, or one kernel at a time. I love that it’s salty. And buttery.

Mmmmm. Buhhhhtter.

I hate, though, what those little kernel slivers do. At best they’re going to wedge between your teeth, forcing you to get out innumerable sharp implements to clear away the debris. At worst, those little slivers wedge up between your teeth and gums, which — by an admittedly casual reading — means that movie theaters are in violation of the Geneva Convention.

And then, after eating popcorn through the duration of a film, you feel ill and slightly ashamed.

Edamame has all the benefits (with one notable exception), and none of the problems of popcorn.

  • It’s easy to prepare: Just boil some water, throw in some salt, and then throw the edamame in for about five minutes. Then, take out the edamame and shake a bunch of sea salt (my sister Jodi got me some Maldon Flaked Sea Salt for this purpose, and it’s about the best thing ever) on it, making it salt-tastic.
  • It’s fun to eat: The pods crack when you boil them, so getting the edamame out is easy. Just pinch one of the beans, and out it squeezes. I find that if you squeeze them just right, they shoot hilariously across the room, possibly blinding lookers-on. That’s their problem. People should know to wear protective eyewear when I’m eating.
  • It’s salty. I think this may have something to do with the fact that I both boil the edamame in saltwater and then salt the pods afterward.
  • It’s delicious: Actually, I don’t think the edamame itself has much of a taste at all. But it’s a good salt-delivery vehicle. Which is a lot like being delicious. Maybe it’s time I admit I have a problem.
  • You can pretend it’s good for you: When you’re eating edamame, you’re eating protein, and hardly any fat at all. Of course, you’re also getting 10^7 times your recommended daily dose of salt, but if there wasn’t something bad for you about it, it wouldn’t be a snack, would it?

You see, the only way edamame falls short is in its lamentable lack of buttery flavor.

Hey, waitasec. I just realized: I could add butter. Just because nobody else does doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

I am a genius!


  1. Comment by jayheins | 10.8.2008 | 12:11 pm

    first place! hey, got my new v4 fC jersey yesterday, it rocks!

  2. Comment by Emily | 10.8.2008 | 12:13 pm

    Salt isnt bad for you as long as its that sea salt from the health food store. The more expensive it is, the better it is for you.

  3. Comment by Don | 10.8.2008 | 12:15 pm

    You are the last person on Earth to try and like it… Bu that’s OK. It is especially OK, because you planted a seed in my mind. How can I make them a salt AND BUTTER delivery vehicle. Pure genius, fat man, pure genius.

  4. Comment by Trixie | 10.8.2008 | 12:17 pm

    You could flavor it with “popcorn” flavoring that comes in a salt shaker-like item. I think I’ve seen butter, ranch, cheese and caramel flavors.

  5. Comment by mmat | 10.8.2008 | 12:20 pm

    it would make sense to me to coat the edamame in butter BEFORE adding the second layer of salt – this way the salt will stick to it better, delivering even more salty goodness AND buttery goodness.

  6. Comment by Paul Gutman | 10.8.2008 | 12:30 pm

    No–just boil it in butter!

  7. Comment by Carl & Kim | 10.8.2008 | 12:38 pm

    We LOVE edamame!!! And I’ve been sporting my new Fatcyclist jersey the last few days – what a surprise that it came early!!!

  8. Comment by Nick Hawkins | 10.8.2008 | 12:38 pm

    You should try to cover the edamame in chocolate.

  9. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.8.2008 | 12:39 pm

    In the UK you can buy frozen edamame in huge sacks. Boil, salt and gorge. Fantastic!

    One day Wagamama will come to Utah and your edamame-enhanced life will be complete.

  10. Comment by getinlost | 10.8.2008 | 12:43 pm

    1.)Remove all of the “seeds” from the pods.

    2.) Melt butter. 1/4 pound should do.

    3.) Place several Tbs of your very best salt in a shallow dish.

    Now dip the seeds in the butter and then roll in the salt. This can be done prior to your “event” or on the fly.

  11. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.8.2008 | 12:44 pm

    (Edamame + butter) is like (tea + milk). Veddy proper, or utterly barbarous, depending on your POV.

    I take mine with rice wine vinegar…

  12. Comment by Anonymous | 10.8.2008 | 12:51 pm

    me loves me some edamame. i never thought about making them home though…always just grab them when i’m out for sushi.

  13. Comment by cheapie | 10.8.2008 | 12:53 pm

    crap. forgot to fill my stuff in again.

  14. Comment by Lana | 10.8.2008 | 1:02 pm

    Problem with adding butter – since you are actually eating the beans not the pod, you would have to figure out a way to inject each pod with butter so that it would coat the bean and not just the shell.

    Maybe inject it with salted butter and solve the salt distribution problem as well?

    I agree this is the best stuff ever, esp when you can cheat and just make it in the microwave if you get it pre-shelled – not as much fun to eat, but good for us super lazy people.

  15. Comment by theguth | 10.8.2008 | 1:06 pm

    Okay Fatty, you are freakin me out. I’m sittin here reading on my break, eating edamame and discussing its merits with my deskmate, when I scroll down and you are there backing me up.

    BTW, if you push out the beans of about a 1/3 of a pound of them, saute in some olive oil with garlic until just browned and throw that in some bowtie pasta with romano and cilantro: it equals heaven.

  16. Comment by Bravo Delta | 10.8.2008 | 1:12 pm

    I got my jersey on Monday, and wore it for its inaugural ride yesterday.. two words.. Flippin’ sweet! Great cut, awesome graphics.. the guys at Twin Six are hipster geniuses!!

  17. Comment by JB | 10.8.2008 | 1:14 pm

    Very appropriate political touch to today’s post Fatty. I just got my mail-in ballot today and Whoa, 16 candidates for President, alas no Ross Perot, but a whole lotta guys and parties I’ve never heard of. I have to be honest with you….never heard of edamame.

  18. Comment by fatty | 10.8.2008 | 1:25 pm

    jb – in that case, i recommend you fill in “edamame” as a write-in candidate. it completes the circle.

    bravo delta – yup, the ‘09 jerseys are starting to arrive. i have to say, this is the best-looking, best material, and best made one so far. and now, made in the USA, which is very cool. not that i had anything against poland.

  19. Comment by Aaron | 10.8.2008 | 1:41 pm

    Here’s another addictive snack that I’ve discovered recently: nutritional yeast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast) on popcorn. Pop the popcorn the old-fashioned way, not in the microwave. Then pour on the protein-rich yeast while it’s still hot and sticky from the oil used for popping. Consume in mass quantities, totally guilt-free.

  20. Comment by JB | 10.8.2008 | 1:51 pm

    I like that! In a sane world the circle should be complete

  21. Comment by bikemike | 10.8.2008 | 1:51 pm

    kinda like boiled p-nuts in the south. very high in protein. the peanuts take longer but the wait is worth it.

    yep, the two party system is dead and it’s killing us. that’s all.

    Win Susan!

  22. Comment by DrCodfish | 10.8.2008 | 1:52 pm

    Fatty, you’ve only stuck your nose undfer the tent flap. The ways you can spice this up are only limted by your, well, spice rack. Just like popcorn.

    Some of my favoites:

    Brewers yeast, chili powder, tamari sauce, curry. Things I haven’t tried yet: powdered salad dressing packets (Ranch? honey mustard? dried beef boullion?) smoke or season salt flavoring, garlic or onion butter. You starting to see the possibiities yet?

    Sure, it’s not lutefisk, but you can’t have everything.

    Yr Pal Dr Codfish

  23. Comment by Tim E | 10.8.2008 | 2:12 pm

    You people who already have your FC ‘09 jerseys are seriously irritating!! My day will come, oh yes, my day will come…

    WIN Susan!

  24. Comment by Ant | 10.8.2008 | 2:20 pm

    I only discovered the joys of edamame last Friday night, and I was smitten, yes smitten. Almost the perfect snack – went very well with a plate of sushi and some smoked eel as well!


    And the jersey, it rocks. Hard.

  25. Comment by Benny | 10.8.2008 | 2:45 pm

    As a fellow lover of sodium I have to recommend RealSalt (buy it online or at Harmons or Good Earth). Made in Utah, and it really tastes much better than anything else I have tried.

  26. Comment by Mr. Toad | 10.8.2008 | 2:47 pm

    I like edamame too, but I avoid it now along with tofu and other soy protein. Several (inconclusive) studies suggest that the phytoestrogen in soy might slightly decrease testosterone levels in men. Not enough to be a big deal with regards to fertility or anything, but potentially not helpful to a cyclist in training, unless you’re Floyd Landis :).

  27. Comment by Mariojas - SATX | 10.8.2008 | 2:50 pm

    Try this edamame recipe from Happy Sushi in Sorrento Valley in North San Diego, CA.

    Sautee 2-4 cloves of garlic until tender. (1-2 minutes)

    Toss in pre-steamed edamame and sautee together with garlic for 1-2 minutes.

    Add 1-2 tbs. of Soy Sauce to coat/taste.

    Serve immediately! Enjoy!


  28. Comment by ...in transit | 10.8.2008 | 2:56 pm

    Wagamama is now open in Boston – fyi.

  29. Comment by Mike | 10.8.2008 | 3:06 pm

    I am ready to receive my jersey early too. Oh yeah, and edamame is delicious.

  30. Comment by Zizzy | 10.8.2008 | 3:08 pm

    Or, you can just cook it about 1 minute longer and the peas have a subtle buttery taste naturally! There, buttery and good for you STILL! I think I may have missed the point.

  31. Comment by RC | 10.8.2008 | 3:14 pm

    Hey! Its October (fest) DBWB (Done Better with Beer)

  32. Comment by Kevin in Seattle | 10.8.2008 | 3:26 pm

    Try ‘em with salt and a little bit of sesame oil. Better than butter, healthier, and you get that great nuttiness as well.

  33. Comment by syj | 10.8.2008 | 3:28 pm

    My wife recently returned from the store with pre-shelled edamame – perfect for dousing in buttery goodness!


  34. Comment by ryed4fuhn | 10.8.2008 | 3:29 pm

    Along with this weird craving for bratwurst that I have, I just want to stuff my face with a bowl of salty edamame. Hmmm. I wonder…would edamame go good with bratwurst? I think so. mmm. mmm. delicious.

  35. Comment by Jenni | 10.8.2008 | 4:21 pm

    I have loved edamame for years- my 5 year-old loves it too. But it’s not so great for women and estrogen receptive breast cancer because it’s high in plant estrogens.
    But that aside, it IS one of the best foods you can eat. Just go easy!

  36. Comment by Glenn | 10.8.2008 | 4:49 pm

    Here in Hawaii we’ve eaten edamame since kids (I’m about your age Fatty) and have many variations to flavor it. Try garlic salt for a slightly garlicky (sp? or even a word?) flavor. Some take out places add different asian sauces and spices for different flavors.

  37. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.8.2008 | 4:54 pm

    I thought I was falling out of the coolness of your blog. But hey, whatever kind of string beans and butter you may be enjoying. I can’t help but feeling part of the family.

    Slurp, lick your lips, crunch crunch.

    It’s the best time of year certainly.


  38. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 10.8.2008 | 5:49 pm

    I typically follow a strict health code of not eating any green food but I might have to make an exception in this case.


  39. Comment by anna | 10.8.2008 | 5:52 pm

    my coworkers used to make this all the time… and I’m pretty sure they soaked them in butter… it was pretty dang good (until you got in that butter overload state)

  40. Comment by Aaron | 10.8.2008 | 6:26 pm

    Mmmmm, buttery goodness. And they are fun to eat too. The trick is to shoot them into your mouth, without nailing yourself in the eye.

    I am STILL waiting for my jerseys…..tick tock, tick tock.

  41. Comment by Alexia | 10.8.2008 | 6:30 pm

    L.U.V. them. My kids and husband do, too. Yum!

  42. Comment by Unicycle Tom | 10.8.2008 | 6:31 pm

    My son’s been a vegetarian since age 5, so it’s a constant struggle finding protein sources for him. Edamame is our big hitter, although we buy it in bags of pre-shelled (like lima beans) so as to not have to hassle with all the pods.

    When I’m in training mode, my main focus with food is on delivering the right mix of protein, carbs, volume. I don’t worry much about variety. My standard training food is a big portion of edamame for protein, mixed in with a couple scoops of quinoa for carb and bulk, all held together with a little milk and generous portion of Cabot Cheddar Shake (think Kraft Mac & Cheese powder but higher quality and no yellow dye). Once that’s all mixed together and gloppy, add some Nutritional Yeast for futher gloppiness, then squirt in some Sri Racha pepper sauce for heat and flavor. Mmmm…edamame glop.

  43. Comment by Matt | 10.8.2008 | 6:39 pm

    We eat through bowls of them as starters at our favorite Japanese restaurant, and one thing they do with Edamame is toss them with chili and garlic oil. Very, very good.

  44. Comment by bubbaseadog | 10.8.2008 | 6:49 pm

    yall eat your beans im sticking with orville reddenbacker smart pop jerseys rock hard win susan

  45. Comment by IndianaJeff | 10.8.2008 | 7:09 pm

    long time reader first time poster ? i come from a long line of popcorn lovers but thatnks to you my kids now have a new sunday night snack to add to the mix.

    p.s. yes there is mountainbiking in Indiana

    You Susan and the kids are in our prayers

  46. Comment by IndianaJeff | 10.8.2008 | 7:12 pm

    marion classic 051

  47. Comment by IndianaJeff | 10.8.2008 | 7:14 pm

    New Castle 08 006

  48. Comment by Kathleen | 10.8.2008 | 7:34 pm

    I live in SF – mecca to all things foodie – so we’ve been eating edamame for about a zillion years…glad you’ve discovered this tasty morsel!

  49. Comment by Andrea | 10.8.2008 | 8:03 pm

    Love, LOVE, edamame!

  50. Comment by Clay | 10.8.2008 | 8:12 pm

    My twin girls who are 7 (think I’ll call them TwinSeven), my wife and I will be riding in the Trek BCA ride this Saturday in Stillwater (OK). I hope my FC jersey gets here in time …

  51. Comment by Ritcheyboy | 10.8.2008 | 8:17 pm

    I received my jersey yesterday. It smokes. I’ll wear it with honors.

  52. Comment by Dobovedo | 10.8.2008 | 8:49 pm

    I’m not so sure about that genius moniker. As soon as you wrote “Edamame has all the benefits (with one notable exception)”, I scrolled back up and reread the benefits.

    I couldn’t find the exception. I guess I naturally assumed you would put butter on it. Ain’t much point in eating any vegetable or vegetable-like-looking substance if ya ain’t gonna soak it in lots of butter.

  53. Comment by mgrinrr | 10.8.2008 | 10:13 pm

    Oh. Oh, geez. I didn’t know you’re supposed to boil them. That explains a lot.

  54. Comment by Thom | 10.8.2008 | 10:46 pm

    The best “sing song” voice to use isn’t even “sing song”. You need to imagine your best 80’s Euro Trash and go to town like Falco, except you replace Amadeus with Edamame.
    Edamame, Edamame.
    Edamame, Edamame.
    Come on an rock me Edamame!

  55. Comment by victoria | 10.8.2008 | 10:53 pm

    The comment above me is very funny and I will never think of Edamame without hearing Falco in my head.


  56. Comment by Travis | 10.8.2008 | 11:48 pm

    we have it all the time here in China, here it’s called Mu Doh (english pinyin) but they serve it here still in the pods, so you have to put the whole lot in your mouth and then do some fancy tongue work!
    Too much hassle for me, I want to eat.. not play!

  57. Comment by SleeplessInKL | 10.9.2008 | 12:27 am

    edamame is yummy! go slow on the salt. and drink plenty of water. you’ll eventually get used to the absence of butter :P

  58. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.9.2008 | 1:42 am


    mgrinrr’s comment leads to this woeful attempt to resuscitate the FC limerick tradition.

    mgrinrr thought he’d try edamame.
    Said he to himself “they’ll be yummy”.
    With butter he oiled ‘em,
    but neglected to boil ‘em.
    Spent the rest of the day on the dunny.

    File under Crimes Against Poetry.

  59. Comment by Swedoz | 10.9.2008 | 3:14 am

    One of the great things with food like edamame is that they taste of nothing. So simply add your favourite taste and enjoy. Sweet chilli, salt, butter, soya, fish sauce, mixture of all of the above…

  60. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.9.2008 | 6:03 am

    Use the buttery flavored salt!

  61. Comment by Flatman | 10.9.2008 | 7:22 am

    “Edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame, edamame!”

    That’s my favorite song!!! :)

  62. Comment by IamMatt | 10.9.2008 | 7:58 am

    My wife is in love with these Edamame’s. We have been known to have several boxes of these things in the freezer a time.

  63. Comment by jsv | 10.9.2008 | 8:01 am

    Hey Fatty, got my jersey yesterday it is perfect!


    Edamame’s rock!!

  64. Comment by jdott | 10.9.2008 | 8:04 am

    I’ll see you at the ride on Saturday. Riding 25 miles in the rain at 40 degrees will be my way of giving the disease the middle finger for trying to hurt my mom and so many other great women.

  65. Comment by Ka_Jun | 10.9.2008 | 8:46 am

    You like edamame? Try some lumpia…

  66. Comment by PhilO | 10.9.2008 | 9:24 am

    It still amazes me that we live here in the middle of soy bean land and we don’t capitolize on this special treat. Just reading your blog on and off, caught your entry about your family’s situation and it strikes a chord. Especially moving from performing in “emergency mode” to working your “system”. Though I don’t share your situation, I realize how much I take for granted in my relationship with family and spouse regarding “bike time”. You inspire me to be more willingly involved with both, thank you for that.

  67. Comment by ann | 10.9.2008 | 10:03 am

    1. I was waiting for the butter. Because, seriously, what’s made WORSE with butter?

    2. In my part of the land, soybeans are a crop to sub in for cotton, and I don’t know that we eat it here – except for Pei Wei. We also grow MILO here, but I don’t think even butter will make it good.

  68. Comment by Linda | 10.9.2008 | 10:14 am

    Corn nuts are still my all-time favorite debate watching snack, but edamame is a close second.

    My hubby surprised me with a package a few nights ago…it was the new FC jersey. I am in love with it (wore it to bed that night as a matter of fact). The best part is I didn’t even know he KNEW I read your blog and that I wanted one really bad. I must talk in my sleep.

    It was the best gift ever…

  69. Comment by roadrash | 10.9.2008 | 11:02 am

    Fun to hear everyone waxing rhapsodic about edamame. And rightly so – it’s our kids favorite veggie too.

    Nice reminiscence about ol’ Ross too. I can picture those ears and recall the twang of “Well its really simple, you just…” Of course “Well” is pronounced as a two syllable word.

  70. Comment by K | 10.9.2008 | 11:25 am

    edamame = best snack evar!

    Also, I received my 2009 Fat Cyclist jersey (my very first one!) in the mail the other day and I just wanted to say the jersey is the awesomest! I can’t wait to wear it on all my rides (washing it afterwards of course ;-)


  71. Comment by James | 10.9.2008 | 1:32 pm

    Ok so that is probably one of the coolest posts I have ever read extolling a vegetable. I am fairly sure that the introduction of butter to the edamame delivery system will replicate the post-movie popcorn shame, but perhaps not the sickness. Especially if its like the totally sinful Land-o-Lakes Salted butter like your parents used to have back before people knew that butter, while immensely tasty, was not of direct cardiovascular benefit.

    Rock on Fatty – I am hosting an movie viewing / edamame-macking session because of this post. Glad to hear earlier that Susan is maintaining well. Best wishes to you and your family.

  72. Comment by deprogram | 10.9.2008 | 1:34 pm

    Well, if you haven’t tried spirulina on your freshly popped popcorn, you haven’t lived. Salty, nutrient dense… it’s the snacking equivalent of crack cocaine.

    Try it.


  73. Comment by goldengirls59 | 10.9.2008 | 5:25 pm

    They are the best! I’m glad someone else out there likes them too…

  74. Comment by DougG | 10.12.2008 | 6:28 am

    edamame??? never heard of it!

  75. Comment by Taylor | 07.22.2011 | 8:32 am

    Salty Edamame with butter. That’s a new twist on a great snack. Not quite as healthy, but worth it.


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