The Japanese traditionally cook black soybeans in sweet syrup to eat for the Japanese New Year’s feast and mix it into baked goods and bread.
Black soybeans, kuromame (黒豆), or kuro daizu (黒大豆) are a variety of soybeans with jet-black skin and creamy white interior.
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What Are Black Soybeans
Black soybeans are a variety of soybeans with a characteristic black skin and cream-colored interior.
It’s most known for Kuromame (confusingly, the bean and dish name). It is eaten in Osechi Ryori, the traditional Japanese New Year’s meal. It’s also eaten in Wagashi, baked goods, bread, and Western desserts.
It can also be used in non-Japanese applications, such as soups, stews, salsas, refried beans, dips, chilis, and hummus.
What Do They Taste Like
The beans have a mildly sweet flavor.
Variety Of Black Soybeans
The most famous beans are from Tamba (丹波) of Hyogo prefecture, known for its high-quality beans weighing 80-90g (compared to regular black beans, about 30g). It’s also very expensive.
The more affordable beans are from Hokkaido.
Where To Buy
Find it at Asian and Japanese grocery stores. You may see it, especially during the weeks up to the Japanese New Year. It’s usually sold dried or sugar-coated or roasted for snacking.
Black beans have a similar look but are not the same.
They are nutritious legumes rich in protein, fiber, isoflavones, vitamins (such as folate and vitamin K), and minerals (including iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium). These beans are low in fat and can help weight management and lower the risk of heart disease due to their high fiber content and potential to lower cholesterol levels. Black soybeans also contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Additionally, they are a good source of plant-based protein, making them suitable for vegetarians and vegans.