Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Donabe-braised sweet black beans

As the weather gets colder, it makes me want to cook beans more. I cook soy beans, black beans, azuki beans, white beans, etc. The results are always wonderful when I cook the beans with my Iga-yaki donabe.

I didn't have time to go down to a Japanese market this time. So, I picked up regular organic black beans from a store in the neighborhood. Japanese black beans are almost twice the size of regular (American) black beans. As I made a large amount, instead of Miso-shiru Nabe, I used classic-style donabe, "Hakeme", for braising the beans. The beans were soaked in water overnight, brought to simmer over stove top, skimmed, then put in the 325F oven. After 3 hours in the oven, the beans were so nicely soft. I let it cool down a little bit and drained the cooking water and carefully rinsed the beans. Then, the beans were quickly simmered in the simple syrup (50/50 water and sugar) and let cooled down. The beans were soaked in the simple syrup overnight.

The following day, the beans were finally ready to taste. Even though, these were smaller beans, they tasted really deep and nice. The texture was nicely fluffy, too. The sweet black beans can be served on its own (with savory dishes) in a Japanese new year meal, or as a dessert dish.

Photobucket Photobucket
So, I made black bean kefir tiramisu. It's a healthier alternative to classic tiramisu. I made the cream mainly with my homemade kefir cheese (kefir was strained through cheese cloth overnight) with a little addition of heavy cream. Made the layers of the kefir cream and buiscuits, which were lightly soaked in the black bean simple syrup. Then, served with a good amount of sweet black beans. Instead of cocoa powder, I also sprinkled some ground black sesame seeds on top.

It was so nice! When I have more time, I will try to post the recipe.

Happy donabe life.