How many of you find that while it is one thing to find a recipe you love, it is even better when other members of our household love it? For some things (like kale salad covered in nutritional yeast) I don’t really mind that I am the only one to eat it, while my husband does not. Yet for certain things, I keep trying ideas and recipes until hitting upon a dish my husband also likes. And considering how nutritional low-glycemic azukis (aka adzukis) are, I really wanted to find a dish that I liked, but that my husband also liked. As I mentioned here, there are just not that many savory azuki recipes out there. I loved the Warming Azuki Stew over at Affairs of Living but he was only meh on it. And while we both liked the Curried Azuki with Mango and Spinach I made back in June, I do not consider that recipe something that can be a weekly or bi-weekly staple for me and my various health needs – it is more of a decadent once in a while dish.
One thing I discovered as I experimented with azukis is that they are not as versatile in flavor profile as other beans. Unlike black beans or chickpeas or cannellini beans where you can just saute some onions, add garlic and diced chilies, whichever spice strikes your fancy, throw in some cooked beans, a smidge of tomato sauce and have a quick dinner, I just do not think you can improvise quite as much with azukis. In fact, the two times I tried that approach with azukis, I kind of choked dinner down. That said, with the right spicing, azukis are truly delicious. So that’s why I am really excited about this deceptively simple recipe I came up with over the long weekend. Azukis play well with spice, scallions and miso – the result is rich-tasting yet light, with lots of delicious umami salty goodness from the miso.
Azuki Beans and Brown Rice (Gluten-free, Vegan, Low-Glycemic, Nut-free, Soy-Free option)
- 2 tsps grapeseed oil
- 1-2 jalapeños, sliced into thin rounds (use 2 if you like spicy foods)
- 3 scallions, sliced, with 1 Tbsp reserved
- 1 1/2 cup azukis (cook before hand from dried, or use canned azukis)
- 3/4 to 1 cup of water or cooking liquid if you cooked the azukis from dried beans
- 7-8 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed (about half a package), optional
- 2 heaping Tbsps miso (use non-soy miso for soy-free option, see note below)
- 2 cup hot cooked brown rice
- sesame seeds, for garnish
Heat grapeseed oil in large chef’s or saute pan. Add jalapeños and scallions (reserving one tablespoon of scallions for garnish) to the pan and saute until vegetables soften, about five minutes. Add azukis, stir, and gradually add the water or cooking liquid in quarter cup increments, ensuring the beans do not stick to the pan and the mixture thickens and becomes slightly saucy (you may need to stop after a certain amount of liquid. I found 3/4 cup to be exactly right), which should take about five minutes. Add cubed tofu, stir and heat through. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso. Serve over brown rice garnished with scallions and sesame seeds. You can serve this dish with stir-fried or sauteed vegetables, as you can see on the picture above, or with a crunch salad.
Note: for a soy-free option, omit the tofu and use a non-soy-based miso. South River Miso has several fantastic soy-free miso, including chickpea miso, chickpea red pepper miso and azuki miso. I used the later, but all three would work in this recipe:
And please note that I am not paid by South River Miso – I really just think that their miso is that amazing. They ship only in cooler weather and I cannot wait for them to reopen in a week.
I am submitting this dish Ito Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday – for the round-up for September 7, see here. This dish is actually more indulgent-tasting than terribly indulgent, though it is pretty high in salt from the heaping amounts of miso that I love in it. Additionally, I am submitting this dish to The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesday (update on September 7, here is the link to the September 8 edition of Gluten-Free Wednesday).