They are used as a snack food and often served as a side dish in Japanese restaurants. To eat them, pop a pod open with your hands, and empty the beans into your mouth.
Can be bought fresh in ethnic markets, or frozen in supermarkets. They are treated more as a vegetable than as a bean.
Usually lightly boiled or steamed, though they can be used fresh in Western-style salads.
Edamame pods were first grown in England by a Joe Cottingham in Kent for Asda in 2009.
Prince, Rose. British-grown edamame beans arrive in supermarkets. London: Daily Telegraph. 31 December 2008.