Except for soft, light beans such as lentils and split peas, most
beans are hard and therefore need to be soaked several hours or
overnight before cooking in order to improve their digestibility.
In the Far East, a strip of kombu sea vegetable is traditionally
added to beans. This combination improves the flavor of the beans,
and adds minerals from the sea which makes for a more balanced and
more digestible dish. Simply add a 3" to 6" long strip
of kombu that has been rinsed and soaked for a few minutes in cold
water to the bottom of the pot and place the beans on top. The kombu
may also be soaked together with the beans.
Beans may be boiled, pressure cooked, or more occasionally, baked
(condition permitting). Please do not add the salt at the beginning
of cooking, but when the beans are about 80% done. If you pressure
cook the beans, open the pressure cooker, add the salt, miso or
shoyu/soy sauce, and continue gently simmering without a lid until
any excess liquid evaporates.
NOTE: To facilitate the digestion of beans -
1) Discard the soaking water
2) Skim off any foam that may arise at the beginning of the cooking
3) Cook with chopped kombu and with vegetables such as carrots
4) Cook without a cover at the beginning of cooking.
BEAN DISH COMBINATION ALTERNATIVES: