Simmered Soybeans And Pork Is Rich In Flavor, Fiber

Simmered soybeans and pork is rich in flavor, fiberBeans are a gold mine of minerals and dietary fiber. Reconstituting dry beans may seem to be too much of a fuss but cooking them is quite simple.
Cooking expert Eiko Oba, who has published cookbooks, including one on bean dishes, says soybeans with hard skins should be soaked in water overnight.

“Use the same water to cook them since the 'umami' (savory taste) has seeped out,” she says.

Dry beans are often sold in 300-gram bags. Instead of cooking a new batch each time, cook the whole bag, lay out the beans flat in small bags and freeze them. Let them thaw naturally and use in soups, salads and other dishes.

Serves six.


2 cups (300 grams) dry soybeans

350 grams pork belly (buta bara-niku)

1 piece (30 grams) ginger

1 pod red chili

3 Tbsp sake

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp sweet mirin sake

3 Tbsp soy sauce


Rinse soybeans in bowl. Place in pot with three times the amount of water and leave between eight hours and overnight.

Place pot over heat without changing water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and remove the scum that appears on the surface.

Cook over low heat with lid on for about an hour until a bean can be squashed using just the fingers. If water has evaporated too much, add water so the beans remain covered.

Thinly slice ginger with skin. Cut pork into 2.5-centimeter squares.

Heat bit of oil (not listed above) in frying pan and cook pork over high heat until golden brown. Remove excess oil using paper towel.

Add pork to pot with beans. When using precooked beans, warm them beforehand. If the amount of water is insufficient, add just enough water to cover the beans. If there is too much water in pot, reduce. Add sake, sugar, mirin, ginger and red chili. Place lid and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Add soy sauce and cook for another 20 minutes.

Estimated time to prepare: 100 minutes (60 minutes to cook soybeans, 40 minutes for dish to simmer). Time to reconstitute beans not included.

Nutritional information, per serving: kilocalories, about 485; sodium content, 1.4 grams; fat content, 31.5 grams.