Aduki beans seem to be the last bean on my mind, and once the weather gets hot never seem to make it on my plate. I usually find them more appealing in the fall simmered with squash and ginger or in wintery soups and stews. I forget to adapt them to the summer months, but I never overlook how especially nutritious they are.
As with all beans, adukis are high in protein, calcium, and iron and are beneficial to the kidneys. You can boost their kidney-cleansing effect by drinking the cooking liquid before meals. “Aduki juice” tastes delicious with a dash of grated fresh ginger or eaten as a soup with scallions and a few drops of tamari. Aduki beans also detoxify the body and can help assist in weight loss.
This salad is a super simple and delicious way to include these earthy beans in your diet and can be made quickly since aduki beans cook faster than other beans.
If you forget to soak your beans, cover them with boiling water and soak for one hour. Drain, rinse, and cook as directed---and don’t forget to drink the cooking liquid!
If you’re serving this salad over mixed greens, you can reserve the pickling juice from the cucumbers for drizzling.
Summer Aduki Bean Salad
1 cup aduki beans, soaked overnight in three cups filtered water
1 2-inch piece kombu
1 medium Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
4 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons tamari
2 tablespoon flax oil
1 cup chopped parsley, leaves and stems
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted brown sesame seeds
Sliced avocado, for serving (optional)
1. Drain and rinse beans and place them in a medium pot. Add 4 cups filtered water and kombu and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until beans are soft and creamy inside but not falling apart.
2. Remove from heat and drain (reserve the cooking liquid to drink). Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, toss together cucumber, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Let pickle at least 20 minutes, stirring every now and then.
4. In a bowl, gently mix cooked aduki beans with remaining rice vinegar, tamari, and flax oil. Add parsley, scallions, and sesame seeds. Squeeze juice out of cucumbers (reserve the juice if using) and add the cucumbers to the bean mixture. Mix to combine and season to taste.
5. Serve in a bowl topped with avocado and a drizzle of pickling juice if you like.
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