I like to consider myself an edamame lover — I always get it in my poké bowl, eat a lifetime's worth of it whenever I visit the homes of my Asian-American friends, and often pick up a bag from the frozen section of Trader Joe's. However, after googling the beloved bean, I realized in 0.54 seconds I was a complete edamame amateur when it came to pronouncing it. If you're on the same struggle bus I am, here's how to pronounce edamame so you can stop second-guessing yourself. 

A Brief History of Edamame

chili, pasture, edamame, pea, legume, vegetable
Beka Barski

Edamame is actually just immature soybeans whose pods are still attached to the stem. There's a specific method used to prepare this staple Japanese food. Think of drying fruits or smoking meats; edamame is when you boil, steam, or (for people like me) microwave unripe soybeans.

Soybeans are integral to Japanese culture, as they're the main ingredient in miso, tofu, natto, and can be made into curd, paste, and many other foods. Edamame is often consumed as a snack or is served an appetizer in Japanese restaurants.

How to Pronounce Edamame

Anyways, back to the discussion — how is edamame actually pronounced? When I don't know how something is pronounced, I look it up on Youtube.

Easy enough, right? "Eh-duh-ma-meh." It's not 'Ma'am' or 'Mom' or 'Mommy.' However, what surprised me was how many dislikes this video received on YouTube! I realized it would be naive to not explore other pronunciation options.

Let's consider the etymology of the word — edamame is literally Japanese for "branch bean" (eda = "branch" + mame = "bean"). So I changed up my search keywords to be 'Japanese pronunciation of Edamame.'

It's slightly different! In Japanese, edamame is pronounced "eh-dah," not "eh-duh," with a strong emphasis on 'dah.' This is how I pronounce it, but I never realized that it was specifically the Japanese way.

So what's the truth? Which way is correct?

The answer is...both! Either work. It really depends on where you're saying it. If you're in the States or speaking English, you should be fine with "eh-duh-ma-meh."

If you're in Japan or speaking Japanese, the correct pronunciation is "eh-dah-mah-meh." But hopefully if you were speaking Japanese you would know. 

Congrats, you did it! You now know how to pronounce edamame. You'll never have to sound like an amateur while ordering it again.

Interested in pronouncing more foods? Here's how to correctly pronounce herb, pho, and açaí. Get out there and order all your favorite foods with confidence.