Kuromame 黒豆 (Sweet Black Soy Beans)

Shiny silky black sweetness-a part of traditional osechi ryori (Japanese New Year’s food) that promises health in the New Year

Like most of these traditional foods, there are family and regional variations. Try an easy modern method using a crock pot. kuromame
Servings: ~12-16
Ingredients:
• 2 cups kuromame (dried black soy beans)
• ~ 3 cups sugar
• 1 to 2 tablespoons of shoyu (soy sauce)
• 2 to 3 rusty nails (optional – imparts a nice black color) or cook in clean cast iron pot

Directions:
1. Wash beans thoroughly in cool water several times and remove broken beans
2. Bring beans and water to a boil on high heat. Then remove, cool slightly and skim off any frothy residue
3. Soak beans in 10 cups of water overnight (at least 12 hours)
4. Add sugar and soy sauce and cook on low for about 4 to 6 hours until beans are very tender. Cover during this stage with a pot lid or an otoshibuta (floating lid) to keep beans submerged
5. Keep adding cool water to just keep the beans covered during this long slow cooking process. Make sure the beans do not dry out during this step
6. Strain the beanst and boil down the remaining syrup until it is very thick and dark.
7. Add beans back to thickened sauce and refrigerate 6 or more hours
8. Serve chilled with osechi ryori, rice, or just plain as a snack. Store in refrigerator. Can also be used in kuromame daifuku mochi and other sweets.