Cooking Black Soybeans

My question is about cooking black soybeans. It seems they cook up quite differently from other beans. They cook very quickly compared to other non-soybeans on the stove top. How should I cook them in a pressure cooker and not make them into mush?

Warmly,
Fouzie
Sitka, Alaska

*****

Sassy Sez: Hi Fouzie! Yes, you are absolutely correct, black soy beans can easily turn to mush if not cooked properly. That's because black soy beans are one of the hundreds of soybean variety that are actually grown to eat as they are (unlike other varieties which are grown specifically to be used in the production of foods such as tempeh and tofu, whose beans are harder and have tougher skins to survive the processing).

Black soy beans are sweeter and silkier than so many other soybeans out there. And their skin is far more delicate.

So when you cook your black soybeans, your main goal is to keep those skins intact. And in order to accomplish this, you will actually SOAK your beans in salted water and COOK your beans in salted water (which you would never do with other beans because soaking and cooking in salty water will ensure other beans do not cook properly).

So you can see there is a big difference here in how you will cook black soybeans.

Whether you use a pressure cooker or simply cook your black soybeans in a regular pot (otherwise known as "standard stovetop"), soak your beans overnight in water with salt. For one cup of dry black soybeans, soak in 4 cups of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

When it's time to cook them up, use the same measurements you would normally, except salt the water. So if, for instance, you are using 1 cup of beans (which have been soaked and are in all actuality MORE THAN 1 cup by this time), add them to a pot with 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

There is an additional step to cooking up black soybeans, and that is you must skim the water a couple times before placing the lid on and setting the timer.

So whether you are pressure cooking or using standard stovetop, bring the beans to a boil uncovered, then reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off the bubbly foam on top. Bring to a boil again, reduce to a simmer, and skim off most of the foam. Rinse any beans that come out of the pot with the skimming and return them to the pot along with 1/2 teaspoon oil to control the foaming caused by the cooking black soybeans.

Pressure cook your beans on high for 20-22 minutes and allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then remove the lid.

For standard stovetop, cover and cook until tender, about 90 minutes, adding more water as needed until your beans are al dente (tender with a bite).

By the way, this amazing advice can be found in Lorna Sass's incredibly helpful book that every vegan should have on their shelves, Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen.

Lorna Sass also has another book I highly recommend, Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure.

These books are oldies but their advice is timeless.

Fouzie, hope this has helped. Thanks so much for your question. :) xo



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Dec 27, 2011
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Yours is the first page I have found that gives detailed info on how to cook black soybeans. Since I bought five pounds I really need accurate info, so thanks!

Jan 12, 2012
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Exactly what I was wondering....
by: Anonymous

Thank you! I'm cooking some black soybeans right now and was so surprised to see the skin peeling off some of them. I quickly added a little salt to the pot and am hoping for the best.

Feb 14, 2013
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Where to find them
by: Faye

Where do you buy black soybeans - in Asian markets?

Dec 05, 2013
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great job
by: Anonymous

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STEP BY STEP, CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS OF HOW TO COOK BLACK SOY BEANS

Dec 06, 2013
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Fo sho!
by: Sassy

You're welcome, my sweet. Thanks for visiting. :) xo

Nov 05, 2014
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recipe based on 1 lb of beans
by: George, Rajan

I am an Indian(Asia). The way our beans cooking (all bean) is totally different from any other. We soak the beans for 5-6 hours or over night better, and drain it in the morning and simply put it in the cooking pot on the cooking range, pour water( for more delicacy half count chicken broth low sodium broth together) until just quarter inch above the beans. Let it cook in slow fire until all the water absorbed and cooked well. while it is being cooked take 2 -3 cloves of garlic chopped and 1 shallot chopped and throw it into the pot and just mix it one time with a spoon. Let it cook for 1-2 hours or until it seems cooked to your level. After that open the lid, add a little salt do another mixing with the spoon ( already sodium in the broth) keep it open on slow heat. meantime take one cup of fresh grated coconut ( not the dried) mix it with the cooked beans which is on the oven slowly with the spoon. Add more salt to your level if not enough. Take out from the oven and serve hot.

Nov 07, 2014
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Sounds good!
by: Sassy

Oh, how very, very cool!! I love this! Thanks for sharing with us. I especially love the building of the flavor profile as the beans cook.

Curious, is the coconut added at the end to impart healthy fats? Or is that done simply to add an additional flavor profile?

Hugs!
Sass

Jan 30, 2015
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What can I do with my black soya beans?
by: Emily

I've just cooked a batch of dried black soya beans by accident thinking they were black beans for Mexican refried beans. So now I've got a great big pot of cooked (for about an hour plus soaked over night) black soya beans that I didn't add salt to! What can I do with them? I keep reading recipes for fermented black beans but I can't find any for black beans cooked from scratch!

Jan 30, 2015
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Embrace those black soy beans :)
by: Sassy

Hi Emily!

Anything you can do with black beans, you can do with black soy beans. Mix 'em up with veggies or whole grains. Make them into burgers or no-meat loafs.

Have you seen our list of Flavor Matches? They will guide you to the ingredients that match perfectly with black beans.

Have no fear -- I have always found mistakes to be the best teacher.    :)

Feb 26, 2015
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Sow cooker?
by: Anonymous

Has anyone tried a slow cooker for black soy beans?

Nov 16, 2015
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the easy way out
by: Anonymous

Black soybeans are native to Himalayan region where I belong too. We normally roast the seeds and use them as snacks. while roasting they pop up and make some sound that's when you when that they are roasted.
We also have many other recipes of black soybeans which we consume with rice but would be too complicated for you all. Just roast them and eat , they are delicious.

Jun 10, 2016
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Where to find in SF Bay Area
by: xylough

After looking and asking for over a year, ome showed up in the bulk section at Berkeley Bowl (New one on Heinz). Plus they were certified organically grown. $1.99 a lb. on 06/09/2016. I Sure hope they continue to carry them.

Jul 14, 2016
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Cooking black soy beans
by: Almond

OK - I'm obviously doing something wrong. I'm trying to cook black soy beans (I like them because they're much lower in carbs), but mine are not mushy. I've been cooking them for 3 hours and they're still very firm. Suggestions?

Jul 15, 2016
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Do not freeze uncooked beans
by: Sassy

Hi Almond --

Just going to take a couple guesses here.

1. Have you ever frozen or refrigerated your dry uncooked beans? If so, that's the problem. I have found it does something very strange to a bean if they're chilled like that and they just won't cook correctly.

Beans can, however, be frozen or refrigerated after cooking (and cooling thoroughly).

2. Do you know how old they are? If they're old, they might not cook correctly. xo!

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