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How to Prepare Fava Beans

Whether you enjoy a nice Chianti or not, this guide will help clean and prepare those fava beans before you have your next guest for dinner.


  • Step 1: Pinch the stem Pinch the stem of the fava bean pod and unzip the seam that joins both sections together.
  • TIP: Choose pods that are smooth and bright green. Pods that bulge out are probably old and bitter.
  • Step 2: Remove beans Slide your finger inside the pod and scoop out the four or five beans and transfer them to a colander. Discard the fibrous, inedible pod shell.
  • TIP: Shucking fava beans can be a time-consuming process, so turn this tedious task into a family event.
  • Step 3: Wash beans Wash the beans in cold water to remove any dirt or debris that may have contaminated them during the shucking process.
  • Step 4: Blanch beans Blanch the fava beans in simmering water in small batches for 30 seconds. Quickly transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop any cooking.
  • Step 5: Remove waxy coating Remove the waxy coating by squeezing the bean between your thumb and index finger. Toss this white membrane away with the pod shells.
  • TIP: Fava beans may be called broad beans or pigeon beans in different parts of the country.
  • Step 6: Prepare according to the recipe Prepare the beans according to any recipe and enjoy the tasty meaty texture of one of the world's tastiest superfoods -- the fava bean.
  • FACT: The earliest known version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" can be traced to an early British fairy tale from 1807.

You Will Need

  • Patience
  • Time

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