Sugar Snap Peas Vs Edamame – What’s The Difference?

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Sugar snap peas and edamame are both legumes and look quite similar in terms of their shape and color. However, they are two crops that differ in several aspects. 

What is the difference between sugar snap peas and edamame? The primary difference is that sugar snap peas are edible-podded, while the shell of edamame is too tough to eat. You can eat snap peas raw or cooked. Edamame should always be eaten cooked. Both sugar snap peas and edamame are rich in minerals and vitamins, are low in calories, and are a good source of fiber. 

In this article, we have discussed how sugar snap peas and edamame differ, from texture and taste to cooking methods and health benefits. 

What Are Sugar Snap Peas?

Sugar snap peas, simply called snap peas, are edible-podded peas. They are a hybrid between garden peas and snow peas. 

Sugar snap peas have rounded pods and a thicker skin compared to other pea varieties.

With some snap pea varieties, you may need to remove the tough strings attached to the pods. 

What Is Edamame?

Just like sugar snap peas, edamame also falls under the category of legumes

Edamame beans are soybeans harvested before they are fully mature.

Unlike sugar snap peas, edamame pods are not edible. To eat edamame, you need to squeeze the beans out of the shell. 

While there is a lot of debate where sugar snap peas come from, edamame is surely native to Asia and is widely used in Asian cuisine. 

Difference Between Sugar Snap Peas and Edamame

Sugar snap peas and edamame may look similar in terms of their appearance as they are both green and of a similar size. However, it should be noted that edamame is more rounded and the beans are visibly outlined under the shell. 

Here are the key differences between edamame and sugar snap peas from different aspects. 

Sugar Snap Peas Vs Edamame: Texture and Taste

Sugar snap peas are a sweet pea variety and are justly considered to be one of the mist flavorful pea varieties. 

As far as the texture is concerned, these peas are rather crunchy and crisp, which makes them a favorite for many. 

Just like snap peas, edamame beans also have a sweetness to them. However, as they are harvested at an early stage, they also have a slightly grassy flavor. Edamame also has a hint of nuttiness.

Compared to peas, edamame beans have a harder texture. However, as they are still young, the beans are softer than those of fully mature soybeans. 

Sugar Snap Peas Vs Edamame: Preparation and Eating

The key difference between eating sugar snap peas and edamame is that sugar snap peas are edible-podded, meaning that you can freely eat both the pod and the beans of these peas.

As for edamame, you can only eat the beans

The pods of edamame are not harmful. However, they are too fibrous to eat. You can chew on them for a long time, like you do sugarcane, ‘extract’ as much juice as you can from it and remove the ball of fiber left in your mouth. 

How to Eat Sugar Snap Peas

There are multiple ways you can enjoy these flavorful peas. Here is how you can prepare and eat sugar snap peas.

  • Raw – If you like a lot of crunch, then you should try eating sugar snap peas raw. Simply remove the stems before eating. You can eat raw sugar snap peas with a seasoning or with some kind of a dipping sauce. Adding raw uncooked peas to salads also works well. 
  • Sautéed – One of the best ways of preparing and eating sugar snap peas is sautéing them with some olive oil. Add some seasoning. Using salt (we recommend Kosher salt) and pepper is enough for cooking sugar snap peas deliciously. Other seasonings and herbs can also be used to give snap peas some extra hints of flavor. 
  • Blanched – If you don’t like eating sugar snap peas raw, you can blanch them to make them a little more tender. 
    • To do so, put the peas into boiling water for around 5 minutes. Once the peas are done, transfer them into ice-cold water to retain the crunch and the bright green color. 
  • Roasted or Grilled – You can also roast and grill sugar snap peas. Grilling snap peas will take you literally 2 minutes while roasting them in the oven will require up to 10 minutes for a nice crust. 

How to Eat Edamame

As edamame beans are in a non-edible pod, you may be wondering what are the best ways to eat edamame. Unlike sugar snap peas, you can’t eat edamame raw. As edamame is basically soybeans, there are health risks involved in eating edamame raw. 

Here are a few options for preparing and eating edamame:

  • Boiled – Boil edamame in salted water for up to 5 minutes. When ready, transfer edamame into cold water. To eat edamame beans, squeeze them out from the pod. You can eat the beans as a snack or add them to different recipes. You can also boil edamame beans and use them to make dips or salads. 
  • Steamed – If you own a steamer basket, then you should certainly try steaming edamame. If you have a bamboo steamer, it would be more than appropriate for this crop native to East Asia. Steam edamame for around 10 minutes and rinse them with cold water before serving. Steaming will make edamame more tender and pleasant to eat. 
  • Pan-Seared – Cooking edamame on high heat is also an option. Cook edamame pods in a heated pan. Make sure both sides of the pods are slightly blackened. Season to taste and serve while edamame is still warm. 
  • Microwaved – If you want a quick snack, microwaving edamame is a great way to have a healthy and delicious bite. Put edamame in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle it with some water. Microwave for around 3 minutes on high setting. Season using your favorite flavors. 

Sugar Snap Peas Vs Edamame: Serving and Pairings 

Sugar snap peas are quite versatile in terms of how you can serve them. They also have a flavor that goes with a variety of products and makes cooking with sugar snap peas easy. 

Sugar snap peas can be a part of every meal of the day, including light snacks to keep the hunger away. As a snack, sugar snap peas can be eaten raw or briefly cooked along with a dipping sauce. 

You can also make these peas a part of your breakfast. Sautéed sugar snap peas go well with all the breakfast staples, including eggs and bacon. 

Raw and blanched sugar snap peas can be added to salads. These bright green peas are a pop of color and freshness in pasta, pilafs, and curry. 

Sugar snap peas pair especially well with typical Asian flavors. They are often prepared with ginger, soy, chile, and lemon. Such herbs as fresh mint and oregano go well with sugar snap peas. 

Edamame makes a great appetizer served as is. You can serve it either in the pod or remove the beans, season them and serve as a starter. Edamame is also a good snack. It’s healthy and fun to eat. 

You can also make a dip from edamame. Make a creamy dipping or hummus blending edamame with avocado or peas. 

Edamame can be used in various recipes and be part of the main dish. Edamame pods can be used to make a stew paired with such ingredients as zucchini and tomatoes. You can also use the pods in making rice or a healthy salad. 

Edamame can be paired with a variety of products, from asparagus to mushroom and beets, and from couscous to quinoa. 

Sugar Snap Peas Vs Edamame: Nutrition Facts 

Sugar snap peas and edamame are both healthy legumes with low calorific value, a good amount of fiber and minerals and vitamins beneficial to your overall health. 

Here are the nutrition facts of 100 grams of raw sugar snap peas and edamame. Keep in mind that edamame, unlike snap peas, is consumed without the shell. 

100 grams Sugar Snap Peas Edamame
Calories 42 147


Daily Value Daily Value
Total Fat 0.2 g 0% 6.8 g 10%
Carbohydrates 7.6 g 3% 11.1 g  4%
Sodium 4 mg 0% 15 mg 1%
Protein 2.8 g
13 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0% 0 mg 0%
Iron 2 mg
4 mg
Calcium 43 mg
197 mg
Potassium 200 mg
620 mg
Vitamin A 1085 mg 
180 mg
Vitamin C 60 mg
29 mg

Edamame is rich in protein and is a good source of dietary fiber. Edamame beans contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as numerous minerals and vitamins. 

Sugar snap peas are a remarkable source of fiber. Incorporating sugar snap peas in your diet will make your bones stronger, boost your immune system and heart health. 

What makes sugar snap peas stand out is their vitamin C content. 100 grams of snap peas will cover your daily need for this essential vitamin. 

Both sugar snap peas and edamame are low-fat foods which makes them ideal for people trying to control their weight. Sugar snap peas, like edamame beans, don’t raise blood sugar levels. 

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