250gr Japanese Black Beans
5gr Baking Soda
TRADITIONAL JAPANESE RECIPE: Kuromame are Japanese black beans cooked in sweet syrup. Kuromame is traditionally eaten as part of Osechi Ryori and represents a wish for good health and hard work. Symbolic meanings aside, these beans are actually extremely rich in anti-oxidants and iron. The former is naturally occurring, while the later is a result of the cooking process.
Despite being more sweet than savoury, kuromame is usually eaten with rice. It makes a nice counterpoint to some of the more salty dishes served in a New Year spread. Kuromame is one of the big three celebration dishes, along with Tazukuri (candied dried anchovies) and Kazunoko (herring roe). Sweet Kuromame is a nice complement to a lot of the other saltier dishes in Osechi.
Each part of Osechi Ryori has a meaning to it, and Kuromame symbolizes hard working and healthy living from the word “mame” (beans) sounding like another Japanese word for working diligently.
|Skill Level:||Time: 3 Days|
|Price:||Serves: 4 People|
01 - Wash the Black Beans and put them in a large cast iron pot.
02 - Add the Baking Soda and 1.5L. / 3.1pt / 6.3 cups boiling water into the cast iron pot and let it sit overnight.
03 - Next day, cook the Beans at high heat until water boils, and skim bubbly scum.
04 - Turn down to low heat and cook for 5-6 hours. Add water as you need. The beans need to be submerged all the time. Crush a bean and see if it's squished easily. Reduce water to just barely covering the beans so the water gets a darker color. Cool.
05 - In a different pot, Cook Sugar and Water until the Sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside and cool.
06 - Under running warm water, gently clean beans, and strain. Be careful not to damage the cooked beans.
07 - Add the strained beans to the Syrup. Cover and heat to just below boiling (about 5 minutes). Let it sit overnight at room temperature.
08 - Cook further until just before boiling and let cool.
- To keep a dark color and smooth surface:
- Cook in or with iron. You can use a cast iron pot to cook in like we did in this recipe. Or throw in a bunch of rusty nails as they did in the old days in Japan (we don’t really recommend this). Anthocyanin in the skin of black beans makes a chemical reaction with iron, and that gives the cooked beans a nice dark color. And cook down the water so the beans can be pigmented well in the concentrated dark water.
- Avoid temperature gaps to keep the surface of the beans smooth. When you wash the beans, cool beans first and use lukewarm water.
- If you wash hot beans under cold running water, that may cause the skin to wrinkle. Same thing for the syrup - put cool beans into cool syrup.
- Don’t put cool beans in hot syrup. And be sure that beans are always under the liquid or covered.
|Written by: Uncut Recipes||Disclaimer|
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