Maodou means 'hair/hairy beans' in Chinese.
The Shanghainese, like the Japanese, love green soybeans (maodou in Shanghainese, edamame in Japanese). If you go to a Shanghai market in the summer, you'll find lots of green soybeans, in their pods or shelled. Green soy beans are usually shelled and fried with preserved veg called xuecai and tofu sheets called bai yeh while the unshelled beans are boiled and soaked in zaolu (wine made from leftover sediment of rice wine) and served chilled as an refreshing snack or appetizer. Every time we are in Shanghai, there's a large bowl of drunken maodou in Eldest Aunt's fridge or on the tables at the restaurants.
If you get fresh maodou where you are, lucky you. Maodou are packed with protein and nutrients so make them part of your diet. You can fry the shelled beans like I did here or boil them with salt Japanese style or soak them in wine Shanghainese style. I can't get zaolu here, so I use Shaoxing hua tiao wine which is a pale substitute to the intensely aromatic zaolu. This recipe is adapted from here.
Green Soy Beans In Wine
500 gm green soybeans (edamame, maodou)
1 cup Shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 t salt
1 t caster sugar
1 piece 8 cm cinnamon bark and 1 star anise
1. Snip both ends of the maodou for the wine to soak in. Boil the beans in a pot of water. Some like the beans soft but I like them quite raw so for frozen beans, one minute of boiling is good but boil longer if beans are fresh & unfrozen. Remove the beans with a sieve or scoop and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking and to keep the beans green.
2. Pour away all but one cup of the boiled water and add the spices, sugar and salt. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool.
3. Add the wine to the spiced water and pour that over the green beans. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Turn the beans once every few hours to get even soaking.