The azuki bean (also spelled adzuki or aduki) is an annual vine widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas for its small (approximately 5 mm) bean. The cultivars most familiar in north-east Asia have a uniform red color, but white, black, gray and variously mottled varieties are also known. Genetic evidence indicates that the azuki bean was first domesticated in the Himalayas. It was cultivated in China and Korea before 1000 BC. It was later taken to Japan, where it is now the second most popular legume after the soybean.
In East Asian cuisine, the azuki bean is commonly eaten sweetened. In particular, it is often boiled with sugar, resulting in red bean paste, a very common ingredient in all of these cuisines. It is also common to add flavouring to the bean paste, such as chestnut.
Red bean paste is used in many Chinese foods, such as tangyuan, zongzi, mooncakes, baozi, and red bean ice. It is also used as a filling for Japanese sweets such as anmitsu, taiyaki and daifuku. A more liquid version, using azuki beans boiled with sugar, lotus seeds, and orange peel, produces a sweet dish called red bean soup. Azuki beans are also commonly eaten sprouted, or boiled in a hot, tea-like drink. Some Asian cultures enjoy red bean paste as a filling or topping for various kinds of waffles, pastries, baked buns or biscuits.
How to cook Adzuki beans in a pressure cooker
Use this basic guide if you do not have a specific recipe
- Pick through the beans and discard any discoloured beans or loose skins
- Soak in cold water for a minimum of the time shown, soaking overnight is usually the best way to achieve this
- Change soaking water a few times if possible
- Never cook the beans in the water they were soaked in
- Rinse the beans well at the end of the soaking period
- Ensure the pressure cooker is at least a quarter full
- Never fill the pressure cooker more than half full
- Always cover the beans with at least 5 cm (2") water
- Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the water - this reduces foaming
- Allow the pressure cooker to get to the required pressure and then begin timing
- Use the specified pressure release method - this is the natural method in the case of dried beans or pulses
- A bean is usually perfectly cooked when it can be easily squashed between your forefinger and thumb
- If the beans are not sufficiently cooked, return to pressure, cook for another 3 minutes and allow the pressure to reduce using the natural method.
Re-check that the beans are cooked to your liking.
|BEAN VARIETY||COLD WATER SOAK TIME
|PRESSURE COOKING TIME||COOKING PRESSURE
High = 15 psi
Medium = 10 psi
Low = 5 psi
|PRESSURE RELEASE METHOD|
|Azuki (red) beans||None||8 minutes||High||Natural|
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