Kuromame Black Soybeans – Japanese New Year Osechi


Black soybeans are an indispensable part of Oseki food.Black soybeans have the wish to work diligently and vigorously. It’s because diligently and vigorously is the word MAME, the same sound of beans = MAME.

I love black soybeans. Ever since I was in Japan, I love them so much that I make them even when it is not New Year’s Day. Every New Year’s Day, I would make black beans and buy several bags of the store-bought kind, and eat only black beans.

In Finland, I also found black beans at an Asian market, and I often cook them. Yes, it is not New Year’s Day. They are my favorite food.


Use Black Soybeans

We call it as black beans, and what used in Japan are black soybeans. The black beans sold in Asian markets are usually black soybeans.

However, the black beans sold in ordinary supermarkets are called black kidney beans. The Mustapaput that you can buy in Finland is this black bean.

If you look closely at the shape, you can see the difference. Black soybeans are the ones that are round when dry, and black kidney beans are the ones that have typical bean shape even when dry.


Kuromame Black Soybeans: Japanese New Year Osechi Food

Black soybeans are an indispensable part of Osechi food. Please use black soy beans, which can be bought at Asian markets. Normal black beans are not soy beans.
Prep Time10 mins
Rest Before Cook6 hrs
Cook Time3 hrs
Servings200 g dried beans
  • black soy beans 200 g
  • brown sugar 200 g
  • soy sauce 1 tsp
  • water
Kitchen paper
  • Place black soybeans in a pot and fill with 800mL water.
  • Cover with a lid and leave to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Drain the black beans in a colander.
  • Put black beans, brown sugar, and 1000mL water in a pot.
  • Cover with a piece of kitchen paper with a few holes made in it, and close the lid by shifting it slightly.
  • Heat over low-medium heat.
  • Cook slowly for 2 to 3 hours to soften the beans.
  • Check the amount of water from time to time, and if it is too little, add a little more boiling water.
  • When the black beans are soft, move the kitchen paper to the edge, add soy sauce, and mix well.
  • Remove from heat and cover again with kitchen paper.
  • Cover with a lid to prevent drying out and let cool.
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