If you are looking to venture out in your culinary creations, the adzuki bean is a good place to start. In China, the adzuki bean is believed to bring good luck, and we can all use as much of that as we can get. Because these beans originated in Asia, you could even get away with branding your new dish as “exotic” for a little added flair.
Prepare your adzuki Beans for cooking
As with most any bean, the first step in adzuki bean preparation comes with cleaning and sorting. Good quality beans are a reddish-brown color and rounded with a pointed end. Pick out any that do not meet this description and discard them. Wash your beans carefully and allow them to soak in water overnight. If time does not allow for overnight soaking, you may put them in a pressure cooker for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cooking your adzuki Beans
Compared with other beans, the adzuki bean has a relatively short cooking time. About an hour of simmering is all these beans really need to get done. If you are really in a hurry, place the beans in a pressure cooker on high pressure for 5-10 minutes. Yet another option is to cook them in a Crockpot all day on the low setting. Whichever method you choose, the end result is sure to be one to satisfy.
Things to do with cooked adzuki beans
Adzuki beans can be eaten whole by themselves or mixed into a variety of recipes. This bean’s sweet, nutty taste and grainy texture create a palatable deviation from the norm. They can be pureed and sweetened for use in cakes or seasoned whole to be served with rice. Unlimited options abound for creativity, and you may just find yourself creating your signature dish with a little experimentation.
Adzuki beans are rich in nutrients and are easier to digest than other varieties. For this reason, people who don’t normally tolerate beans well may find adzuki beans easier to stomach. If gas is a concern, make sure to discard the water used to soak the beans before adding fresh water for cooking. This tip works well for all varieties of beans and may render adzuki beans “gas-free.”
Because of the bright red color, adzuki beans are traditionally used in festive dishes prepared for celebrations. Make any meal festive by adding this “little bean” to your dishes. For a wealth of recipe ideas, visit Recipe Zaar: 41 recipies that include adzuki beans as ingredients.
What to do with leftover cooked adzuki beans
When you cook most beans, you generally want to prepare a lot at one time because of the time involved. Adzuki beans are faster to prepare, but still take a good bit of time. Cooking a big batch at once will save time and energy, so be ready with freezer bags or plastic containers to store the surplus. Beans freeze well and will keep for months in a regular freezer, and up to a year in a deep freezer.
If you didn’t prepare enough adzuki beans for storing, but still find yourself with leftovers, search your recipes for dishes you can incorporate your beans into. Mashing adzuki beans will make for a great filler in baked items or can be used as a substitute for refried beans in Mexican dishes. Oftentimes you can incorporate the beans into recipes in such a manner than no one could tell you used beans at all unless they watched you make it! It is never good practice to waste food, so get creative to really get the most out of your beans.