Savory Azuki Oatmeal

Azuki* beans (あずき, a.zu.ki) are interesting. I’ve never had them plain and fresh, always from a jar — which means sweet, presumably because of the preparation. Aside from the sweet, the beans have an earthy taste, as in “tastes like I’m eating dirt, only not so gritty”. It’s similar to turnips…. or maybe rutabagas. An acquired taste. The sweetness means the only recipes out there are for dessertlich things. The last time I tried azukis with oatmeal I went the sweet route, and thickened them with mochi flour instead of potato. This time it’s different. This time it’s savoury all the way.

I started out with beef broth, because its hearty enough to stand up to the beans. I rinsed the beans beforehand, to get the sweet syrup off. To thicken it, I used potato flakes, and I added about ten grinds of the ‘SW BBQ Mix’, that seems to be mostly various kinds of peppercorn (its main ingredient is ‘spices’), but also mustard seed and parsley.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of azuki beans, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of broth, salt, quant suff pepper and spices.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove..

Results: Fair to middlin. The sweet/savory flavors didn’t heterodyne the way I was afraid they would. It still needs work, but it’s worth trying again.

Rating: *****

*Also spelled ‘Adzuki’. That’s not the way the Japanese is written or pronounced. I think it comes from the way a Western tongue handles the a-z combo.

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