Never heard of them? I hadn’t either, until I did a special elimination diet a few years ago that focused on lots of legumes and vegetables. (I may be going back to that soon, at least temporarily; more on that later.) They’re extremely flavorful and packed with all kinds of nutrition.
During our recent kitchen construction, I bought a bag of adzuki at Whole Foods, hoping to use them in my slow cooker. I never did. Until today!
Here’s the recipe I created, adapted from a few things I found online. The potato twist came from a quick Twitter convo with famous slowcooker maven Stephanie O’Dea. I ended up using my divided crock, because my cooker is huge and the recipe isn’t. I had already learned from Stephanie that a crock must be at least half-full to cook properly. So…was it OK to only use one side?
She said yes (I love Twitter), but said, why waste the space? Throw some potatoes or corn in there. I had just picked up some nice, waxy reds at the Argenta Certified Arkansas Farmers’ Market, so why not?
Vegetarian Adzuki Bean Stew and Potatoes
- 1 1/2 c. dry adzuki beans, sorted
- 2 fresh tomatoes, concasse (see instructions)
or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 large or 2 small-med leeks
- 1 small onion, small dice OR 2 T. dehydrated onion flakes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienne cut
- 2 T. soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos
- 3 T. miso paste OR 1 cube vegetable/mushroom boullion
- 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
- 1 T. paprika
- 2 T. AP flour
- 3-4 c. water or vegetable broth
- 4 medium waxy red potatoes
If you have a large, divided slow cooker, you can prepare both the stew and potatoes at the same time. If not, you can cook the potatoes in the microwave or in the oven just before eating.
Soak the beans overnight before cooking. There is some dissent about whether or not adzuki require this, because they are very small; I wasn’t sure, so I soaked them. Rinse the soaked beans and put them in the slow cooker.
If using fresh tomatoes (and if it’s summer, I hope you are; if it isn’t, I hope you’re not), you’ll do a fancy trick called concasse. Mark an “x” in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife. Bring a small pot of water to the boil, and prepare a small bowl of ice water. Carefully place the tomatoes in the boiling water for one minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and put them in the ice water. You should now be able to easily peel the tomatoes. Peel them, cut them in half or quarters, and squish out all the seeds and gushy stuff with your thumbs. Fun! Cut the remaining tomato pulp into dice. Add this (or your slacker canned/diced toms) to the slow cooker.
Split the leeks lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ pieces. Place these pieces in a wire mesh strainer or colander and work the layers as apart as you can, then rinse and drain. Sand and dirt hide in these layers, so be sure to get it all out!
Add the onions, garlic, carrots, soy sauce, miso or bouillon, sriracha, paprika and flour. Stir to coat, then add enough water or stock to cover the mixture by about a half inch.
If you’re slow-cooking the potatoes in the other side of a divided crock, cover each one with foil, and put them in the other side with no liquid. If you’ve only got starchy, baking-style potatoes, that would be fine, too; just serve as a baked potato with the stew over the top.
Turn your cooker to low and cook for 8 hours or so. It’s the “or so” that I love about slow cookers…a little more or less is fine. Just check that the beans are done, and you’re golden.
When you’re ready to serve, remove the potatoes and allow to cool just a bit. Then slice them (for waxies) or split open the tops (for starchies), sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and ladle the stew over the top.
Lest you think I was stingy with my stew in the above photo, it was just to keep it pretty. Hubby’s was so slathered you couldn’t see the plate, much less the potato. I ate mine (above) with an extra side-cup of stew.