When I first suggested baked beans for the challenge, I'd really been thinking of a traditional style, with navy beans, molasses, tomato and onions. But then we got to talking about how we could make things a little more interesting, and I always start craving Japanese food in January and, well, this is what we end up with.
Japanese baked beans.
These are azuki beans (the same kind of bean you find in "red bean" desserts like ice cream or mochi) soaked overnight and then baked in a mix of 1.5 cups dashi, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and a tablespoon each of mirin and sake, along with some dried shiitake mushrooms and diced carrots. I'd up the seasonings by a tablespoon each next time. I baked them at 250F for about two and a half hours, adding the carrots for the last hour of cooking. Also, after I took the photo, I returned these beans to the pot with the rest, sprinkled some panko on top and broiled it, but I won't make that mistake again. Most of the panko dissolved in the remaining cooking liquid, making the whole thing a bit soggy.
I served the beans with salt-broiled sardines (about which more in another thread) and rice. We could have used some Japanese pickles to round out the meal; pickled ginger would have been lovely.
Edited by Matthew Kayahara, 18 January 2009 - 10:58 AM.