I find them more moist and flavourful when steamed whole in their pods, then salted, and then you sort of "squeeze" the beans out of their pod with your mouth when you eat them. That's how they come when you get them at a sushi restaurant, anyhow. Plus, it's fun. But if I was going to just put them on a salad or in a stirfry I'd buy them already shelled. My grocery store sells them both ways.