Adzuki Beans
Adzuki BeansGNU/Sanjay Acharya

Adzuki (aduki) beans are  small red beans that originated in the Far East.  They are one of my favorite beans as they are both delicious and cook relatively quickly.  Adzuki beans need as little as forty-five minutes to cook.  This is less than half of the time required to cook some of the larger legumes.  Adzuki beans are great sauteed with an onion and served on a bed of rice, or you can use them in the Asian fashion, ground up, sweetened and added to a dessert.  The recipe below uses them in a soup.

A lot of people tend to avoid eating beans due to a “certain reaction”, be aware that there are ways of avoiding this uncomfortable issue. Firstly, eat beans in small quantities. One of the main reasons for flatulence is that there are too many beans in one dish. Anyone who is not used to eating beans should start off with small quantities until your digestive system adjusts to them.

Some people think that soaking the beans to remove the phytic acid helps and some people believe the opposite.  As with any machloket (difference of opinion) choose the opinion that you think is correct.   Personally, I have tried both ways and I don’t find either to be superior.  

The best way to avoid bean-discomfort is to properly cook the beans. There are certain foods and spices that help to break down the phytic acid in the beans and to assist in their later digestion. These include, turmeric, cumin, bay leaf, and seaweeds. The recipe below uses an abundance of these methods, turmeric, cumin, and seaweed.  If unfortunately you find that none of the above methods work, try taking a pro-biotic before the meal, or  drink a cup of water with one drop of high quality lavender oil (while it is not the most palatable drink, it is certainly effective).

So, here’s the question, if beans are hard to digest and cause discomfort, why bother eating them?

Legumes, including, beans, peas and lentils are some of the best foods for you. They are the perfect food for people with a heat or damp condition. This means that if you are overweight, suffer from edema, or from a yeast condition, you should be eating beans. This is because beans help to regulate sugar, water, and other aspects of metabolism. To my mind however, their most important feature is that they tonify the kidneys.   


  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cups adzuki beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 square of kombu
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1″ ( 2 cm) ginger, chopped
  • 1 box shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 kohlrabi, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 liters water
  • turmeric
  • cumin
  • salt
  • pepper


1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute until the onions are soft. Add remaining vegetables and spices (except for the salt) and saute for a few more minutes until the vegetables are a little bit soft. Add the water and bring to a boil. Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the kombu. Simmer for one hour, add the salt. Puree, garnish and serve.

Note: I put the garnishes on the table and everyone put in their own.

Note: Cooking beans with salt prevents them from softening. It is recommended to add salt towards the end of the cooking process.

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and she teaches Healthy-Cooking Classes.