Cooking Red Beans Azuki From Oriental Trading Co.

Are ALL Orchids brand RED BEANS-AZUKI sold by the Oriental Trading Co as hard to cook as my mother (r.i.p.) discovered they were?

I gave her a pack several years ago and found several packages while moving. I recall she said she cooked them and cooked them and they were STILL not tender!

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So I wonder if it's the variety of the bean or the method used or WHAT?
Anyone who has experience with these PLEASE HELP!

Thanks !

melody_yesterday from Sedalia, Missouri

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

beans tend not to be tender when kept too long,

I've had the same problem with kidney beans

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

A good 12 hour soaking will help to tenderize them. Just clean, rinse in cold water and add fresh cold water to cover by about 2 inches and let them soak for a full 12 hours. The older they are the more they need to soak. Strain, rinse, and cover again with cold water (by about 2 inches) and cook gently. Do not salt until they have cooked tender and if you need to add more water as they are cooking be sure that the water you add is hot. Cold water added during cooking will make even fresh dried beans hard.

Try this and see if you don't have good luck with them. I have cooked dried beans that are 5+ years old this way, and they were good.

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

Aloha. If you add some beer to the cooking water it tenderizes the beans. I've had success with this method for different varieties of dried beans. I do cook them in a pressure cooker to save on cooking fuel. I don't think it matters how you cook the beans. I found this hint on a Texan chili website.

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

They need to be soaked overnight in water. I boil a kettle and cover with plenty of boiling water.Do not add salt as this can toughen them.The addition of a slice of lemon can be said to tenderize them.The next day, change the water and boil them, preferably in a pressure cooker.

This variety of bean stay firmer than others and do not readily become mushy,but will still be pleasant to eat when softened and cooked.In a pressure cooker 20 mins should be ample. In a normal saucepan,they could take an hour or so. Don't add salt through cooking process and try cooking with lemon juice, you may find they are softer!

Failing that the beans just may be too old, and you will have better results buying fresher ones.The Japanese grind them up raw and use them to ex foliate their skin!

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful

wow ! ok ! THANKS you 2 !

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November 13, 20070 found this helpful

i really like the idea of using a lemon slice or lemon juice Joanna.I have never heard this "Failing that the beans just may be too old, and you will have better results buying fresher ones.The Japanese grind them up raw and use them to ex foliate their skin!" so THANKS & will keep in mind to add only HOT water during cooking jsham -- I don't buy beer so I would have to bum one somewhere along the line LOL !

These are upwards in the neighborhood of 3+ years old easily - so I was about to give up on them but reading they CAN be made right really makes me want to give it a try ! I don't own a pressure cooker but I do have a crock pot so I would need some advise on that ...thanks again !

You all are so genius !

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November 13, 20070 found this helpful

In using a crockpot just follow the instructions in the previous preparation instructions. You will find that you do not need as much water in the crock as in a pot on the stove. Don't lift the lid unnecessarily, as that increases the cooking time. For the old beans try about 4 hours on low and then check. Newer beans will cook in less than 3 hours.

Good luck with them, and let us know how they turn out.

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November 14, 20070 found this helpful

I live in Japan where we eat azuki beans sweet. They are not supposed to get really soft but they will if you soak as jsham said. We cook them for a couple of hours with a lot of sugar and skim off any scum or bubbles every once in a while. We use them as a condiment with mochi (pounded glutinous rice).

Usually I just buy them in a can because they take so long to cook! Cantate

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November 15, 20070 found this helpful

judy : i ALSO found Kidney beans when I moved that were in a in a big popcorn tin with the Red Beans Azuki, so that might be my next "big challenge" ! -- and Cantate :: that sounds VERY interesting! Sweet beans! The only thing that comes to mind that is anything like sweet would be the 3 bean salad my mom used to make!

So I am excited to be able to try these suggestions soon & as jsham said: to let you all know how they turn out! Also jsham, do you add ham or other meat to your "bean pot"? I was raised on this type of food so all this should come easily to me, maybe I am just having pre holiday freeze brain.

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November 15, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, most Westerners don't think "sweet" when they see "bean". I mean sweet-- like a cup of sugar to three cups of cooked beans. Lots of foreigners see dark "anko" (which is the sweet azuki bean paste) and think "chocolate" and are quite disappointed. However, they have a really good flavor if you are not expecting a Western flavor. By the way, we also make sweet bean soup with rice dumplings for New Years'. Not at all a taste you would expect, but quite nice and very warming!

Cantate

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November 16, 20070 found this helpful

Cantate : I soaked the beans overnight and today started to cook them on the stovetop. I added a little tomato, lemon juice, garlic oil & sugar (several tablespoons)

I later switched them into the crockpot and they are cooking on low. By this time tomorrow they should be ready for dinner!

I hope this works!

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