As with all of Lucy's recipes, there's never a need to change anything at all to produce perfect and beautiful food every time. So the slight changes I've made here are only designed to enhance the particular aspects of Lucy's adzuki croquettes and spicy sesame sauce that most strongly appeal to me — namely, the spiciness. When someone says that they "toned something down a fraction," I can't help but to tone it right back up, and a few more fractions besides. But apart from not being able to find khombu seaweed and substituting wakame instead, the only changes I've made are to add some dried hot red chillies to the beans and cayenne to the sauce, owing to what I consider the perfect harmony of cayenne's fiery heat with the salty and nutty flavours of tamari and sesame.
Serve with miso rice (recipe coming soon) and steamed broccoli or cabbage for an inspiring, delicious and wholesome Japanese-style meal that you won't soon forget.
Lucy's adzuki croquettes
1 cup adzuki beans
5 cups water
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 2-inch piece dried wakame seaweed
1 medium onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 dried whole red chillies
2 bay leaves
Rinse the beans and soak overnight in a medium saucepan in the water, with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. The next day, add all the other ingredients except for the tamari to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40-60 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
Remove the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and bay leaves. Season to taste with tamari, and simmer gently for another few minutes. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking liquid.
cooked and drained adzuki beans
4 scallions, finely chopped, both white and green parts
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup tamari
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar, crushed to a powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a baking sheet with a little sesame oil. Mash the beans in a large bowl with a potato masher, and add just as much of the reserved cooking liquid as you need to give it the beans a solid but moist consistency. Mix in the chopped scallions, salt and pepper. Stir in the breadcrumbs a little at a time, until the mixture is stiff enough to shape. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat until golden brown, and set aside 1 tablespoon of the seeds for the sauce.
Roll the bean mixture into small 2-inch croquettes, or — as Lucy suggests — make them even smaller to serve as finger foods. Tip the toasted sesame seeds onto a plate and roll the croquettes around to coat, pressing lightly.
Place the croquettes on the baking sheet and brush the tops with a little extra oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing together all of the ingredients, including the reserved tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds, in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Serve the croquettes hot, with the sauce on the side for dipping or spooning over top.