The Japanese make extensive use of soybeans in their cuisine, and here those nutritious beans are cooked until tender, then simmered in a lightly seasoned broth with a variety of vegetables. The key to flavorful dried-bean cookery is long, gentle simmering, and this is one of the few Japanese dishes requiring many hours of cooking. The final dish keeps well, though—for up to a week if refrigerated. Beans and Assorted Vegetables is versatile; serve it with any grilled or steamed fish, chicken or egg dish. Or enjoy it with a Western-style platter of cold meats.
In a saucepan, combine
Soak the dried mushrooms for 20 minutes in ½ cup warm water to which
Cut the softened kelp into ¼-inch-wide strips, then across into small squares.
In a saucepan, combine the mushroom liquid, basic stock, soy sauce, sugar and syrupy rice wine, and heat it, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Add the beans and vegetables and simmer over medium-low heat for 15–20 minutes or until nearly all the liquid has been reduced. For superior flavor, simmer with a dropped lid; if unavailable, ladle the seasoned stock over the cooking beans and vegetables frequently.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
*If not using leftover kelp that is already soft, place dried kelp in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the pot from heat. (By the way, this kelp broth could be used in lieu of the basic dashi stock in this recipe).
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.