Edamame Falafel

Edamame? Falafel? Really?

Yes. Edamame is indeed what you call those fuzzy green, lightly salted baby soybeans you order as an appetizer at Japanese restaurants. Falafel are those savory morsels of greasy, crunchy, chickpea goodness that you get from your local middle eastern lunch spot. And yes, these two things have nothing in common other than the combination of the two is the best thing since Falafel v.1.0.

Throw some of these babies in a pita pocket with cucumber, lettuce, tomato and dollop of yogurt sauce for a delicious edamame falafel sandwich. Or, pair it with a side of yogurt sauce, and you have the perfect party snack. Carnivores won’t realize there’s anything missing, vegetarians will rejoice, and vegans will be your new best friend. They’re lighter and creamier than regular falafel, and so, so addictive.

(Photo by: Kevin H on Flickr)

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Food Couture: Edamame Falafel »

99% of the time I will choose to use fresh fruits and vegetables rather than frozen, but soybeans are an exception. There’s really not that much difference in taste between the two, except that you can buy the frozen version already unshelled (hooray!).

They defrost in minutes (I just soak them in warm water), so I always keep a bag in the fridge to add to salads and stirfrys. I’ve seen raw, frozen soybeans at Trader Joe’s and Safeway, and Whole Foods.

I used a stick blender

instead of a food processor, but I think I went a little bit too far! I should have left coarser pieces for texture, and removed as much water as I could to avoid the mix from becoming too soggy. It still turned out great, though.

The mixture is a beautiful light green color – and it stays that way when it’s cooked, too.

My friend Yizhuo brought me fresh garlic from her parent’s farm! It was so strong that just one clove went a long


I baked falafel the last time I made them, but it came out way too dry, so I concluded that the only way to make falafel right is to give in to deep-frying. Because this is my first time deep-frying (really), I took a baby step – I filled up my smallest pot with just enough oil to come up halfway on the falafel balls.

It worked! They were ready to flip over after a minute. Maybe next time I’ll have the guts to do real deep-frying.

I thought about making a falafel sandwich, but I thought too long, and before I knew it, they were all gone.

Edamame Falafel

By Chef Yasue Siewert of Food Couture

Edamame Falafel:
1½ cup frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
1 small size onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
4 tbsp flour
½ tsp kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
Vegetable (canola) oil for frying

Yogurt Sauce:
2 tbsp plain yogurt (Greek yogurt recommended)
1tbsp mayonnaise
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
½ Persian cucumber (or 2 inches of seedless cucumber), chopped


  • In a food processor, pulse edamame until coarsely grounded. Add onion and garlic and process until the mixture is finely ground.
  • Transfer the mixture into a bowl, add cumin, flour, salt, and black pepper and mix together well by hand.
  • Roll falafel dough into 1-inch balls.
  • In a medium saucepan (or deep fryer), heat 1-inch of canola oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Cook falafel balls a few at a time, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.
  • To prepare the yogurt sauce, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and chill until ready to use.
  • Serve warm with yogurt dipping sauce or as a falafel
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Makes about 20-25 falafel balls

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Food Couture: Edamame Falafel

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Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. Mike says:

    My favorite part of this whole blog post was the two words, “next time.” That means more falafel!!

  2. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    Thanks for being my guinea pig again. Yes, more falafel!

  3. Man. This has totally reminded me that (like homemade tempeh) many beans are interchangeable. Why not soy falafel? Butter bean? Fava? So excited!

  4. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    I’ve been thinking about edamame hummus too…the possiblities…

  5. Lauren says:

    What a fantastic idea! I don’t typically eat (or, for that matter, prepare at home) fried foods, but this recipe looks too good to pass over. I adore edamame, and will definitely be making these creative falafel balls.

  6. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    Same here, it’s the only thing I would think about deep-frying! It’s so worth it though :) You have a great site. I’d love to try your blueberry vanilla frozen yogurt sometime.

  7. CallMeCupcake says:

    Just tried this recipe today and it was by far the best thing I’ve ever eaten!
    Substituted plain soy beans for this “Soy-cotasch” medley I found at Trader Joe’s. It includes corn and red pepper in the mix – a bit heavy on both so I added additional plain soy beans. Also added flax seed meal to the mix and coated with sesame seeds before frying. End result was crisp and golden on the outside, moist and flavor-packed on the inside. Served stuff-it-yourself style in mini-pitas with baby spinach, tomato slices, feta, and home-made Tzatziki sauce. (super easy and delish from this page here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/07/greek-yogurt-tzatziki-recipe.html)

    Way better than anything I’ve ever paid for! My boyfriend and I ate nearly all of them in one sitting and can’t wait to finish them off for dinner! Thanks for the great recipe. :D

    • Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

      The version you made sounds amazing. I’ll have to try that out. Gotta love Trader Joe’s!

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