Dried soybeans and soybean products are widely available in supermarkets and health-food stores, while fresh green soybeans are generally available in Asian markets, natural food stores and produce markets. The fresh soybean, sometimes referred to as the edible fresh green soybean or edamame, is a bean that is harvested before it matures. They can be served as a side dish, a snack, or used as an ingredient for salads, soups, casseroles, couscous, rice, pasta, and other food dishes. When cooked, the fresh beans are often placed in water, in their pod, and when the water boils, they are simmered for 5 minutes before being removed from the pod and served or added to other foods. Fresh beans should be eaten within several days. If they are frozen they can be kept for several months, while dried beans are easily stored in air-tight containers for long periods of time.
Soybeans are also referred to as soya, soya bean, soja, or soi.