These beans are soaked and simmered in water for a long time, which can be quite annoying to wait for, but it’s definitely worth it because once they’re cooked they’re so soft and so delicious! These beans are said to represent health and hard work, which is why they are eaten as part of the Osechi Ryori at the beginning of every new year.
Although these beans are sweet, they are eaten along with all the other main savoury dishes during the New Year’s lunch/dinner, just like the Kuri Kinton (Sweetened Chestnuts & Pureed Sweet Potato). But since they are so deliciously sweet, they also make a great snack to eat after New Year’s because there is usually a lot of leftovers. My daughter especially loves Kuromame so my mom always makes them for her whenever she goes back, even if it’s not around the New Year time. Since I usually only go back every few years, I don’t get to eat Kuromame for a long time because I didn’t think they sold them anywhere in my city so I never thought to look. But this year I really wanted to make them for the New Year’s meal so I went to look for them and just found them at the Japanese shop right near my house. I was so happy because now I can make them whenever and I don’t have to wait years to eat them. Hopefully you’ll be able to find Kuromame at a Japanese/Asian grocery store wherever you live and be able to make them too because they’re sweet and so delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Kuromame (Sweetened Black Beans)
- 300 g black soybeans kuromame
- 250 g sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pour 10 cups of water into a large pot and add the sugar, soy sauce, and salt.
- Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and add the black soybeans (kuromame). Put a lid on and leave for 7-8 hours or overnight.
- Take the lid off and bring the soaked beans to boil over high heat.
- When scum starts to form on the top, turn the heat to low and remove the scum from the top with a ladle.
- After removing all the scum, turn the heat to high, add a half cup of water and bring to boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and remove the scum again from the top.
- Cut out a circle of aluminium foil and cut a small hole in the centre of it.
- Place the aluminium foil on top of the beans and simmer over low heat for 6-7 hours.
- Occasionally check under the aluminium foil to make sure the water is covering the beans. If not, add more water.
- After 6-7 hours, check if the beans are soft, and if they are then remove from heat and serve!