Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Why are we told to boil beans in one lot of water, then start again with fresh water?

Some dried beans need a preliminary period of fast boiling because they contains toxins called protease inhibitors which interfere with the digestion of protein. While beans that have not had this preparation may taste palatable, the body will not benefit fully from their protein unless these toxins are neutralized.

Start by fast-boiling the beans, then discard the water and complete the cooking in a pan of fresh water. This fast-boiling is particularly important for soy beans because they contain half as much protein again as most beans and many vegetarians rely on them as a source of protein. Soy beans should be fast-boiled for 60 minutes. They should then be drained, then simmered in fresh water for another 80-90 minutes, or until tender.

Raw kidney beans contain a substance that cannot be digested and which may cause abdominal discomfort or food poisoning if the toxins are not extracted. It is essential that you fast-boil red kidney beans for 15 minutes before use, then change the water and simmer them for another 45 minutes, until they are tender.

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09:10:57 on 10/31/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Do beans and pulses really need to be soaked before cooking?

Lentils, peas and many beans do not need soaking. For those beans that do, there are some basic rules to observe. First, rinse them in a sieve under the cold tap to wash off any loose, floury matter before cooking. This minimizes the formation of scum during cooking.

Soak dried beans by pouring boiling water over them to quicken the process. In hot climate kitchens, a 1-hour soak is safer than leaving them to sit for a long time. Alternatively, soak larger beans in cold water for up to 8 hours, in the refrigerator if it is very hot weather. Although the beans absorb water, there is no evidence that they lose any nutrients.

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08:04:16 on 10/31/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to host a great dinner party and still find time to enjoy the company of my guest?

Choose recipes that can be made largely in advance and need little last-minute attention. Avoid fiddly recipes that will keep you in the kitchen away from your visitors.

If you have the space, arrange the starter and dessert courses on plates ahead of time. Cover and put them in a cool place and set out cheeses to reach room temperature. Lay out everything you will need in the way of cutlery and china for all of the courses, including coffee and after-dinner drinks. Make a simple timetable, wearing a watch, and work out a seating plan.

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07:08:29 on 10/31/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -