The small azuki bean is widely cultivated throughout China where it is known as hungdo, or simply "red bean," as well as in Korea and Japan. In all Asian cuisines, it is almost always eaten as part of sweet desserts or boiled and puréed with sugar to make red bean paste as a stuffing for pastries. On the other hand, savory dishes featuring the azuki bean as the main ingredient are quite rare, but fortunately this recipe from Yunnan Province in southwestern China provides an absolutely delicious and simple-to-prepare example of using the bean as a meal. Like many Chinese dishes, there is a wonderful (and, according to the Chinese, healthy) contrast in colors.
I've made this stir-fried azuki and green pepper many times now, and my guests are always ecstatic to find out that it will be served. Like so many of my favorite recipes, I've modified it from my indispensable and well-thumbed copy of Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, in this case to make it spicier, more savory, and more "mushroomy". I've used some white mushrooms along with the dried shiitakes (also known as Chinese black mushrooms), but if you want it to be absolutely authentic, substitute more shiitakes for the white mushrooms and dispense with the cayenne. As for myself, though, I'm sticking with the cayenne.
|Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper (Hungdo Chow Ching Jiao)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World
Published on June 5, 2007
A simple, colorful and delicious Asian-flavored azuki bean stir fry loaded with mushrooms and crunchy fresh peppers