Traditional Japanese Cooking – Nimame (Simmered Soybeans with Veggies)

Likewise, my husband and I have been through this current trend “Self-Isolation Baking”. He even baked his first-ever bread last weekend. Home-baked bread and cakes are so yummy and it’s been so much fun to do as well.

Traditional Japanese Recipe
Simmered Soybeans and Vegetables
by alittlebitofsoy

Problem is that they are too yummy… I ate so much carb and sugar for last couple of weeks. I am feeling pretty guilty at this moment.

Therefore, I thought…

What else can we cook – something tasty, healthy and entertaining…

My answer is BEANS. Why not COOK YOUR OWN BEANS (CYOB) instead?!

Cooking dried beans definitely takes time, however, home-cooked beans taste much better than pre-cooked ones. If you cook a big batch of them, you can even freeze and use them later – very convenient!

There are a lot of kinds of beans available, which means we can try out many different recipes. Apparently, there are still some difficulties to buy tins of beans from the supermarket. However, I realised that dried beans are easily available from the health food store, organic food store and the Asian groceries store. Don’t you think CYOB is a good idea?

As an introduction to my CYOB, I would like to introduce a super traditional Japanese dish using soybeans. You have to prepare the beans the night before you would like to cook, since the soybeans need to be soaked overnight (just like any other beans). However, it is really easy to cook. The ingredients are all the usual suspects for Japanese cooking, so you might have them all in your kitchen. For dried Shiitake Mushrooms, you can find them in the Asian aisle of the major supermarkets or, of course, from the Asian store. Konjac/Konnyaku would be found only at the Asian store, so you can skip it if it is too difficult.

This is a very traditional Japanese side dish. It can be stored in the fridge for about a week. It is a perfect dish to serve when you want to add some nutrition to your main meal. Oh! I have to say that it goes well with sake and white wine too!

Hope you like my CYOB proposal and join me soon!

Lastly, I would just like to thank you all who have visited here and tried some of my recipes during this funny time. I just feel grateful to know that, somewhere in the world, my family recipes are used and (hopefully) helping brighten your day. It really encourages me.

Stay safe everyone 🙂

Ingredients:

To Cook Soybeans

  • 200g of good quality dried Soybeans + 2-3 litres of water
  • 1 litre of Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Vegetables

  • 6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms + 300ml of Water
  • 1/3 of a 250g pack of Konjac/konnyaku
  • 1 Carrot

To Simmer Soybeans

  • 250ml of the remaining Cooking Liquid of Soybeans
  • 250ml of the remaining Soaking Liquid of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sake
  • 1.5 Tablespoon of Sugar
  • 1.5 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Mirin

Method:

Soak soybeans

  • Wash dried soybeans with water very well.
  • Place the washed soybeans and 2-3 litre of water in a large bowl and soak overnight or 8-10 hours.
  • Drain the water. Now the soybeans are ready to cook.

Cook soybeans

  • Place the soybeans, 1 litre of water and sea salt in a pot. Cook it over medium heat.
  • Once the water has started boiling, turn the heat to low and put a dropping lid (otoshibuta) on. Keep cooking over a low heat for about 60 – 80 minutes, or until the soybeans become soft. To check, if the soybean can be squashed by your finger without effort, the beans are ready. (Tip: Make sure that the soybeans are always under water while cooking. Pour some water into the pot if the water level gets too low. )
  • Transfer the soybeans to a strainer and let them cool down. Make sure to keep the cooking liquid as it will be used later.

Prepare vegetables

  • For dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in 300ml water for 15 minutes or until they become dehydrated and soft. If you are in a hurry, soak them in warm water for 3-5 minutes. Cut them into small pieces.
  • For konjac/konnyaku, boiled it for 1 minute and cut it into small pieces.
  • For carrot, cut it into small pieces.

Simmer soybeans and vegetables

  • Place the soybeans, the prepared vegetables, the remaining cooking liquid of soybeans, the remaining soaking liquid of shiitake mushrooms, sake and sugar in a pot.
  • Cook it over a medium heat. Once it has started boiling, turn the heat to low. Put a drop lid on and keep cooking for about 10 minutes.
  • Add soy sauce and keep cooking for about 5 minutes with the dropping lid on.
  • Add mirin and keep cooking for 3 minutes with the dropping lid on.
  • Turn the heat off and leave it to cool down. The flavours will be absorbed into the ingredients while cooling down. You can serve it cold or warm – both are equally nice.
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