Brighten up a winter day with smallish, slightly sweet adzuki beans in zingy orange sauce. This thrifty recipe uses the zest and juice of organic oranges. Adzuki beans cook faster than kidney beans. They originally came from China, Japan, or India more than a thousand years ago, where are often used in cakes or other confections. My sister-in-law enjoyed a birthday cake made for her in Japan that had red beans between the layers. When she asked her hosts about the cake, they said of course it had red beans, it was a birthday cake!
Adzuki Beans with Orange Sauce
Active time: 30 minutes. Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes. Serves 10
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound adzuki beans
- 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 carrot
- 6 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons sesame, peanut, or canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage (240 grams)
- 2 oranges, zest and juice
- 1 orange (optional) for garnish
- Mince 2 cloves garlic and set aside. Sort and rinse adzuki beans as described in the Basic Beans recipe. Chop onion and cut carrot into 1/4 inch wide moons. Put garlic, beans, onion, salt, carrot and water into a medium pot. Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low so bean mixture barely boils. Cook until beans are tender, about two hours, then make sauce.
- When beans are almost tender, make sauce. Mince remaining garlic and set aside. Grate ginger and chop onion.
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, ginger, and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add onions, stir, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Shred cabbage and stir into onion mixture.
- Zest each orange right on into the cooking vegetables, then juice it and add juice to vegetables
- Test cabbage to see if it's tender. If needed, cover and simmer for a few minutes. Drain adzuki beans. Pour sauce onto beans and stir to mix.
- Serve hot over rice, garnished with an orange wedge if desired. Refrigerate extra for up to four days or freeze for up a year.
- Instead of buying a bottle of specialty sesame or peanut oil, pour oil off the top of a freshly opened jar of tahini or peanut butter.
- For a fancier presentation, serve beans and sauce unmixed, so each serving has a layer of rice, beans, and sauce. This looks particularly nice with a orange wedge on the side.
- Variation: replace cabbage with two bell peppers, sliced thin and cut in bite-sized pieces.
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