My Grandmother's Simmered 'Kuromame' Black Soybeans
Without using a pressure cooker, delicious simmered kuromame can be made in a short amount of time! I definitely recommend this method, since it has never failed me. The result is mildly sweet, so add more sugar to taste if you prefer. Kuromame are an essential part of the New Year's feast, so give it a try.
Put the ● ingredients in a large, deep pot, bring to a boil, then add the baking soda.
After adding the baking soda, turn off the heat, add the beans, then let sit for 8 hours (overnight).
Turn on the heat, simmer for 1 to 2 hours on low heat, skimming off the scum from time to time (check the softness of the beans and adjust the cooking time accordingly). The pot will boil over if the lid is sealed, so loosely cover the lid.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is a recipe that was passed down from my grandmother to my mother, and then to me. (I didn't learn it directly from my grandmother.)
In my grandmother's recipe, she let the beans sit for 10 hours (Step 3) and boil for 5 hours (Step 4), but this version results in sufficiently soft and tasty beans! The taste is mildly sweet, so for those who prefer more sweetness, add about 1/3 cup more sugar. As long as you complete the process through Step 3 at night, they'll be done 1 to 2 hours after you turn on the heat in the morning! That's very quick for kuromame! -If you serve them right after they are done cooking, they will wrinkle, so let them sit in the liquid until they cool.