Soaking Red Beans

Did you know my family celebrates Chinese New Year? I know that it is really the Lunar New Year and that more ethnicity’s besides the Chinese celebrate it, but since we are part Chinese, we call it Chinese New Year.

This is how we celebrate. Find a day that works for everyone. Make food. Eat food.

Oh yeah, it’s an epic celebration!

So to up the ante this year, I decided to have a craft for the kids and some Chinese-type decorations. This post is about neither. We’re celebrating this Saturday and the decoration isn’t up yet. Yup, decoration singular. It’s a good start, right?

We went to check out one of the Asian markets. We hadn’t been yet (in two years!) and it was definitely time to. We walked the entire store and looked at everything. We’ll definitely be back.

Why we like Asian markets:

  • We can buy the rice we like for much cheaper than we can anywhere else.
  • We can buy a humongous thing of soy sauce (this was our first time–Jared said that now we’re really Asian)(if you don’t know Jared, he’s 100% white meat).
  • They had six different types of bok choy.
  • If I ever need a present for my family, that is where I will go.

But let’s move on to the topic of this post. Soaking Red Beans. I haven’t even mentioned red beans yet.

One of the items on my list was a can of mashed red azuki beans. If you are familiar with Asian food, you would know this as bean paste. Or the beginning of bean paste. I’m not actually certain if you can call it the same thing straight from the can. We couldn’t find it. But I did find dry red beans. I’ve cooked beans before. Once. Twice. Maybe twice… I do want to cook dry beans more so I can be comfortable with the execution. So I grabbed up the bag. Plus, how am I going to make the dish without the beans?

And so now I have a bag of red beans. I guess I’ll be cooking lots with them throughout the year. Why not? We like bean paste. This is just my first time trying it.

So I started with the first VERY difficult step. Soaking the beans.

Whew! That was hard. I need a break. (This picture makes them look the color of kidney beans–they are much more red in person)

Tomorrow: Make the bean paste. Prepare the pork. Two different dishes. I’ll have pictures next week!