The common red bean (kidney bean in English) has a bad reputation in cooking. Contrary to the comments that these beans are tasteless and bland, they are actually quite nutritious and satisfying if prepared correctly. With some easy recipes, you can turn a cup or two of beans and other side dishes into a first-class meal. Better yet, everything will come out pretty cheap, as red beans cost a fraction of the price of meat and other vegetables.
raw bean recipe
- 3 cups of red beans;
- Salt (to taste);
- 2 cloves of garlic (optional);
- ½ chopped white onion (optional);
- 2 large chopped carrots (optional);
- 1 bay leaf (optional).
Method 1 of 3: Cooking Dry Beans
Step 1. Sort and wash the beans
Dried beans are one of the most nutritious and affordable foods you'll find in the supermarket. However, it may take a little work before cooking it. Start by placing them on a smooth surface and look for shriveled, discolored beans. Throw away what you find, plus small stones that might be in the same shipment.
- Then place the beans in a colander and wash them under running water. This helps remove small imperfections and dirt particles that you might not have noticed.
- The cooking process for beans is basically the same no matter how much you cook at once. The rest of this section will refer to 450g of beans (about 3 cups of raw beans or 6-7 cups of cooked beans), which will yield four or five servings easily.
Step 2. If you can, soak the beans overnight
Place the washed beans separately in a large pot, cover with water and place the pot in the fridge at night. This process will make the beans softer and absorb the water until the next day. Beans may appear larger and a little wrinkled, which is normal.
This step is not essential, but it is a good idea if you have the time. Soaking beans shortens cooking time, helps cook more evenly, and facilitates digestion. Also, truth be told, it also tends to cause less flatulence
Step 3. Boil the beans
If you have soaked all night, remove the pan from the fridge, remove the water, and cover the beans again with water. If you haven't soaked the beans, transfer them directly to the stove. Heat over "high" heat until water boils.
- If necessary, you can prevent foaming or water from overflowing in the pan by adding a drizzle of vegetable oil or olive oil.
- If using garlic, onion and other optional ingredients, add them to the water as soon as the pan starts to heat up.
Step 4. Reduce heat and allow beans to simmer
Once the water is bubbling, turn the heat down and stir carefully. Leave the beans on the fire with the lid slightly tilted to let the steam escape.
Step 5. Start testing to see if it's ready after an hour
Dry beans take a while to cook. Stir occasionally every 15 minutes, but don't expect it to be done for at least an hour. After that, make sure it's ready by taking a bean with your hands and mashing it (after it's cooled, of course). Don't eat red beans that look raw or undercooked. This can cause a temporary condition similar to food poisoning (see "Tips" below).
- If the beans are a little "crunchy", they are not ready yet, as they should be completely soft and mushy - an almost "creamy" texture.
- Be patient. A shipment of raw beans can take one to four hours to cook completely. Resist the temptation to raise the fire - this will make cooking uneven.
Step 6. Add a little salt when the beans are a little tender, as soon as you notice they've lost some of their "crunchy" texture
The salt will make the beans very tasty.
Do not add salt before this time as this will increase cooking time as well as cooking irregularly
Step 7. Cool and store beans
Continue stirring and tasting every 10 to 15 minutes. When they are already with a soft texture without the "crunchy" part, they are ready to be devoured! Allow the beans to cool in the liquid they cooked in, then serve or transfer to the refrigerator (keeping the liquid).
If you think the beans are too watery, drain a little of the liquid, but avoid draining everything. Leaving beans in the liquid they were cooked in helps maintain texture and flavor. Also, the liquid itself is tasty and full of nutrients. You can even use it as a nutritious base for soups
Using a pressure cooker
Step 1. Prepare the beans similar to the step above
Cooking in a pressure cooker (or slow cooker) is basically the same process as cooking on the stove, with just a few small changes. Start with exactly the same steps as before: separate and wash the beans, cover them with water and soak if you have time.
Step 2. Put the beans and water in the pressure cooker
If you have soaked them, drain the water and place the beans in the pressure cooker. If not, add them directly. Cover with about 2 cm of water, and be careful not to fill more than half of the pot.
Step 3. Heat to high pressure
Close the lid and place the pan on the stove at medium/high temperature. When you reach high pressure, reduce the temperature to maintain pressure. If using an electric pressure cooker, set to high pressure.
If you are using garlic and other additional vegetables, add them before closing the pan
Step 4. Count on a shorter cooking time
Pressure cookers cook beans very fast compared to the normal stove cooking method. Most recipes indicate 22 to 30 minutes. Make sure it's ready after 20-22 minutes and adjust the cooking time if necessary.
When the beans are done, release the pressure under cold running water, then drain the water and wash the beans
Method 2 of 3: Using Canned Beans
Step 1. See if the beans are pure or flavored
Compared to dried beans, canned beans can be mixed. Some cans contain "pure" beans in addition to the canned liquid. Other cans contain beans in a seasoned sauce. Some contain beans that can even be heated and eaten alone. Check the label to see what kind of beans you have.
If you are unsure how to use canned beans, read the label. Many include sample recipes and serving suggestions
Step 2. Wash the pure beans that only come with brine
This liquid keeps them fresh and is safe to drink, but the taste is a little "artificial". All you need to do to get rid of this nasty substance is to pour the contents of the can into a colander and rinse with cold water for a few seconds.
Step 3. Heat the beans in a pan or in the microwave
Canned beans are pre-cooked, so all you need to do is heat them. If you are using pure beans that you have just washed, add a small amount of water to the container you will use to heat them. If you are using beans that come in a seasoned sauce, heat them in the same sauce without any work. If using the microwave, place the beans in a secure container such as a ceramic or glass bowl (not metal or plastic).
If you're camping, you can cook a can of beans with sauce in the can itself. Simply open the can and carefully place it over the fire. This procedure will be easier if you have a grid. If not, balance the can on a rock near the fire. Be careful - the can will be very hot
Step 4. Another option is to add pure beans to other recipes
Since canned beans are already cooked, they are easy to use in other recipes. If these recipes require cooking, add the beans at the end of the process so as not to cook them more than necessary. For cold recipes, use beans as is.
- In the section below, you will find some suggestions for recipes that use red beans. You can substitute cooked dry beans for pure canned beans and vice versa, unless it is contraindicated.
Method 3 of 3: Recipe Suggestions
Step 1. Try making baião de two
This typical northeastern dish is delicious and quite satisfying. The protein and fiber from the beans combine with the carbohydrates from the rice, making the dish complete. Another option is to serve it with seafood, paella or spicy sausage!
Step 2. Make chili
This popular and spicy soup is the most famous red bean recipe. Traditionally served with meat, chili can be served in an infinite number of ways. Experiment with different vegetables to make a vegetarian dish, or eat it with corn bread for a typical American dish.
If you're using dried beans in this recipe, cook them until they're almost done on their own, then transfer them to the chili pan with the liquid ingredients. This avoids overcooking the beans. If using canned beans, add them towards the end of the cooking process
Step 3. Prepare bean soup
This dish is delicious, nutritious and easy to make - all you need are beans, water and your favorite vegetables and spices to make a complete dish. You can also add ham (or ham seasoning) to make a classic combination, but it also works with sausage, chicken, beef, and other meats. There is no "right" way to make bean soup, so be creative!
- If you are going to use dried beans, add the other ingredients to the bean pot as soon as they are almost done.
- If you're looking for inspiration, a can of sliced tomato is a great addition to any bean soup. It will also make the dish look better by turning the gray water into an orange-brown broth.
Step 4. Try making a cold bean salad
If you have different cans of beans, drain the water, wash the beans and mix them with a little olive oil and salt. This is a great low-calorie salad as well as being a good source of protein and fiber. Try adding chopped red onion, tomato and corn to give it a slightly spicy taste. But the bean salad is great on its own too!
Step 5. Try a bean paste or humus, an extremely easy recipe to prepare
Add beans to a blender or food processor with salt, ground black pepper and olive oil. Mix until it forms a creamy paste.
If you want to add the flavor of humus to the paste, add tahini and lemon juice - these are the essential ingredients of traditional humus. Garnish with a little cayenne pepper and parsley before serving
- All beans cook in a similar way, so the above instructions can be applied to other bean varieties, such as black beans or carioca beans. Some have small differences, like chickpeas, which take a long time to cook.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked red beans. This can cause a form of food poisoning which, although rarely dangerous, can result in nausea and vomiting.