Ask Niki: Soy beans
Are raw soy beans available in NZ, and where can you buy them?
Q: "I am vegetarian, and I have heard soy beans are a good protein source, particularly for vegetarians. I would like to get hold of some soy beans rather than be restricted to processed soy protein products such as tofu. Can you buy raw soy beans in New Zealand, and if so, where?"Anna
A: If you go to Japanese restaurants, whole, fresh, soy beans are often served as an appetiser in the shells; you just pop the beans out with your teeth. They're really tasty!
You can buy soy beans frozen in their pods. Try looking for 'edamame' beans, which is their Japanese name. I've found these in Asian grocery stores, especially stores with a focus on Japanese food. Japan Mart in Auckland has them. You can also buy canned soy beans which have been cooked. These can be used the same way you would use other canned beans: in salads, patties, dips and casseroles.