All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Kuromame no fukumeni / lightly sweet soy sauce flavored black soybeans

One of the auspicious dishes of New Year's. A pun on good-luck wishes to stay healthy -- "mame" means healthy.


200 g black soybeans
200 g brown sugar
1 tbsp + 2 tsp soy sauce
1,000 cc water


 In a pot, put brown sugar and soy sauce.

Boil water, pour in pot, and mix well until sugar is dissolved.

Add beans, cover, and let sit overnight.


Cook beans.
First bring to boil on medium high to high heat. Skim, reduce heat to medium low, place a paper drop cover, and cook for 3-4 hours until beans are soft enough to crush with fingers.

The heat level should be at the point where liquid is almost bubbling, or very quietly sends up little bubbles to the surface.

Turn off heat, and let cool in the liquid. Keep refrigerated. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Use a thick-walled pot for the best results.
  • Keeps in refrigerator for 5-7 days. To ensure quality, heat on low for 15 minutes every day until the day of serving.
  • Make sure beans are immersed while cooling or cooling. Otherwise bean surfaces wrinkle, which is often regarded as not pretty and a preparation failure for bean dishes.
  • To enhance the black color, add a rusty nail (washed and wrapped in a cloth) to the pot, or cook in an iron pot.
  • The expression "mame" to mean health is still used in various regions in Japan, probably mostly by older people.
  • Why black beans? Some people say that staying healthy means you can work hard and long enough to get a nice suntan. Setting aside the current trend to skin whitening, tanned skin is usually associated with health and pale skin with poor health.

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