Beans

Tofu and Lentil Sprout Salad

You can probably find tofu at your regular supermarket or grocery shop nowadays. Tofu is made from soy beans which is a great source of protein with all sorts of goodness inside.

This is a healthy tofu salad recipe with lentil sprouts: a super food rich in vitamin C, folate and potassium.

The refreshing taste of tofu and lentil sprouts go well with flavoursome soy sauce and sesame oil dressing. Nori seaweed adds a hint of the taste of the sea.

It’s a very simple recipe anyone can have a crack at. It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly, too. With two types of bean, you’ll definitely be full of beans after eating this salad!

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Key

You can get rid of excess water by putting the wrapped tofu in a microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.

Topic

Tofu is an indispensable ingredient in the Japanese diet. It’s coagulated soy milk which contains lots of isoflavones. Some studies suggest isoflavones balance hormones for women. It’s a good source of iron and calcium and a great substitute for animal meat as well.

Lentil sprouts is a new face to the superfoods and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Lentil sprouts are healthier than already healthy boiled lentils, as the nutrients in the beans increase as they sprout, as well as no lost nutrients from the cooking process.

Lentil sprouts are available to buy in the salad vegetable section of supermarkets. You can find Nori sheets in oriental grocery shops or at the world food section in supermarkets.

Yoghurt with Azuki Bean Sauce

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Azuki beans is the queen of beans in Japan, however unlike the most popular king of beans, soy beans, you don’t see Azuki beans or their products so often. I’m thrilled when I find a tin of Azuki beans in a supermarket in the UK.

You might think it’s strange to use beans for sweets, however most traditional sweets in Japan are made out of Azuki beans. Using them for sweets brings the best of its nutty-sweet flavour.

This is a very easy dessert recipe and you can keep the left-over Azuki sauce in a fridge for next time. It’s also a guilt-free sweets recipe since it’s quite low in calories. Furthermore, Azuki beans are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and B vitamins. There are no reasons not to try this recipe!

Ingredients

Natural yoghurt

1 tin of Azuki beans (400g approx.) NB: It’s occasionally labelled as Adzuki, Aduki or black beans.

130g Caster Sugar

 

Method

  1. Place the contents of the tin of Azuki beans into the pan with the liquid. Add the caster sugar and bring to a boil over a high heat.
  2. Lower the heat, though keeping the sauce still bubbling, and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Raise the heat and boil the sauce down until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Place the yoghurt in a serving dish and spoon the Azuki Sauce over the yoghurt.

 

Key

Make sure that some of the liquid is still retained and not completely evaporated. Keep the sauce a little bit loose, as the sauce hardens when it cools down.

Vanilla ice cream with sweet azuki beans

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Azuki beans are widely used in Japanese confections.

Now you could find a tin of cooked azuki beans in most supermarkets, which is very easy to use.

ingredents (serve 4)

1 can of cooked azuki beans (400g)

200g caster sugar

A pinch of salt

1 tab of good quality vanilla ice cream

Methods

  1. In heavy thick sauce pan, empty all the content of the tin of azuki beans including the liquids then turn the heat on low
  2. Add all the sugar into the pan, place the lid on and simmer on very low heat, keep stirring,until almost all the liquids evaporated
  3. Add a pinch of salt just before turning the heat off then leave it to cool completely (once cooled you can freeze it at this stage)
  4. Serve a spoonful of the sweet azuki beans with a scoop of vanilla ice cream