Asian-Inspired Savory Snacks

April 25th, 2017

Adzuki Beans | The Healthy Red Beans

Food fads sometimes hit me the same way fashion trends do. Too late, I didn’t even realize the new white sneakers I just bought are so 2015!

But while fashion trends only affect the way you show your style, food trends deeply impact your body and health.

This notion made me wonder: What “underrated” foods are out there? Foods that may not be heavily marketed, but can still boast a long list of nutritional benefits. Instead of thinking about trends that come and go, I wanted to find some super food truths.

Looking at Yumami Go-Dips, the Adzuki Bean flavor caught my attention. Adzuki beans (also known as the East Asian red mung bean) are often used in Asian desserts as they are slightly sweeter than most other beans. However, what most people don’t know is that adzuki beans are packed with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and folic acid. They also have a high concentration of mineral molybdenum, which helps detoxify the liver and is not easily found in other foods.

But the best news: adzuki beans can be used for both savory and sweet dishes! I tried out some different ways to use these funny little beans and found some especially yummy recipes I’d love to share with you:

Chicken and Adzuki Bean Soup

  • Recipe and photo courtesy of allrecipe

    1 1/2 quarts chicken broth

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup dry adzuki beans
  • 2 onions, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 yellow squash, cubed
  • 1/3 medium head escarole, coarsely chopped

1. Place the chicken broth in a large pot. Mix in the chicken thighs, adzuki beans, wild rice, onions, and garlic. Season with sage, thyme, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook 1 hour.

2. Remove chicken from the pot, shred with a fork, and set aside.

3. Stir the sweet potato into the pot. Continue cooking about 5 minutes, until sweet potato is slightly tender. Mix in the zucchini, yellow squash, and escarole. Continue cooking 15 minutes.

4. Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Cook until heated through. Increase the amount of broth if the soup seems too thick.


Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

Adzuki and Vegetable Salad Filled Pita

  • 1/2 cup dried adzuki beans
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 large broccoli stems, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated provolone cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pita loaves, halved crosswise


1. In a small saucepan combine beans with water to cover by 2 inches and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes for adzuki beans or about 15 minutes for lentils. In a sieve drain beans and rinse. Drain beans well and transfer to a bowl.

2. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water blanch carrots 1 minute and add broccoli stems. Blanch carrot mixture 2 minutes and drain in sieve. Rinse vegetables under cold water until cool and drain well. Add blanched vegetables to beans with celery, bell pepper, parsley, garlic, and provolone.

3. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk until emulsified. Pour dressing over bean mixture and toss well. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chowhound

Adzuki Bean Ice Pops

  • 1 1/2 cups canned sweetened, mashed adzuki beans
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

1. Place 1 cup of the beans and the cream in a large bowl and mix until evenly combined.

2. Place the remaining 1/2 cup beans, milk, sugar, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into the bowl with the bean-cream mixture and stir to combine. (The beans will sink to the bottom.)

3. Fill the pop molds halfway with the liquid part of the mixture. Use a spoon to evenly divide the beans left on the bottom of the bowl among the molds. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.

So next time you’re out shopping and want something truly healthy and not just a trend, try on this super food! The added protein, vitamins, and digestive benefits will do wonders. Also, the ice pops are to die for!  

Hannah is a psychology and marketing major and a yoga teacher who has a newfound love of adzuki beans.

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