Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper

Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper

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
Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper (Hungdo Chow Ching Jiao)
Recipe by
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World
Cuisine: Chinese
Published on June 5, 2007

A simple, colorful and delicious Asian-flavored azuki bean stir fry loaded with mushrooms and crunchy fresh peppers

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Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried azuki beans
  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and diced
  • 6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 4 tablespoons tamari (soy) sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Instructions:
  • Rinse the beans and soak for 6 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, and transfer to a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain, and then crush some of the beans lightly with the band cover, simmering for about 1 hour or until the beans are soft. Drain the beans, and then crush some of them lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the sesame oil over high heat in a large wok or saucepan. When hot, add the green onions and stir-fry rapidly for 30 seconds. Quickly add the mushrooms, both shiitake and white, green pepper, chilies, and garlic, and stir-fry for two minutes or until the mushrooms just start to reduce. Add the beans, turn down the heat to low, and stir to mix. Stir in the tamari sauce, sugar and cayenne, and simmer gently for at least 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced slightly and the mixture has a fairly dry texture.

  • Serve over hot brown rice with plain vegetables or a green salad on the side.

Makes 4 servings
Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper

8 comments:

Lucy said...

Beautiful recipe, Lisa. It is hard to find savory azuki recipes, isn't it?

Love them.

Lisa said...

Thanks Lucy. I keep meaning to hunt down more recipes for azuki beans.

Reg said...

Damn that looks good!

Wendy said...

Thanks for this! Have had a tin of adzuki beans in the cupboard for weeks and have had no idea what to do with them.

lavaterra said...

For many times I looked out for suitable recipe to azuki-beans and now I'm so happy to find your site. The beans (dry) were a gift and I had no idea what to do with it. Thank you and greetings from munic, germany

Juliann Wilding said...

wow, i have this book but have not made this recipe. do you think the sugar could be substituted with maple syrup or honey?

Lisa said...

Juliann, I think honey or maple syrup would be a lovely substitute!

Christina said...

I tried this recipe out in order to use up the remainder of my adzuki beans. It was absolutely delightful. I used half as many beans as your version, though, since that's all I had left :(