Beans and Assorted Vegetables

Gomoku Mamé Ni

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Serves

    4

    .

Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

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.

Ingredients

Brine for soaking beans

  • 3 cups cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup daizu (dried soybeans)
  • 5–6 cups cold water (for cooking)
  • 2 large dried shiitaké (black Oriental mushrooms)
  • ½ cup warm water, with a pinch of sugar
  • ¼ cup carrot, cut in ¼-inch dice
  • 7–8 inches softened konbu (kelp; leftovers from stock making)
  • ¼ cup liquid from soaking black mushrooms
  • cups dashi (Basic Soup Stock)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (syrupy rice wine)

Method

In a saucepan, combine 3 cups cold water with ¼ teaspoon salt and heat it through, stirring to dissolve the salt. Let the brine cool to room temperature, then soak the dried beans in it for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans, place them in a saucepan with several cups of fresh cold water, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Skim off any froth, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook the beans until they are tender (about 1½–2 hours). Add more water as necessary to keep the beans from sticking and burning. When the beans are done, drain them well.

Soak the dried mushrooms for 20 minutes in ½ cup warm water to which a pinch of sugar has been added. Rinse the mushrooms, remove and discard their stems and dice them. Peel and dice the carrots. Strain the mushroom liquid, reserving ¼ cup of it.

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).