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In the American South, Hoppin' John is a popular New Year's meal. In honor of the Chinese New Year, I would like to make a Chinese variation on Hoppin' John.

In place of bacon, I thought I'd use BBQ Pork. However, I am unfamiliar with legumes (beans) used in Chinese cuisine other than soybeans. What are some other bean choices that would work for this?

Also, not sure about tomatoes being used in Chinese cooking. What would an alternative be for tomatoes?


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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Chinese use what is often referred to as black beans, but they're actually fermented soybeans.

Azuki/Adzuki beans are the beans used in red bean paste. Most often, they're sweetened and mashed. But I don't see any reason you can't use them in Hoppin' John. I'd temper the slight sweetness of the azukis with a bit of black bean paste to give a more savory flavor. (The barbeque'd pork is already going to be a bit sweet.)

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Good suggestion! – Michael at Herbivoracious Feb 11 '11 at 5:47

I'm not always a big fusion fan, but I think this one can work reasonably well. The way I like to approach these dishes is to think "what would a Southerner who found himself in China on New Years make with what he had on hand?" I think whole soybeans will be a fine substitute for black eyed peas, and your meat change sounds right. How about using mustard greens, which have a long tradition in both countries? I'd skip the tomatoes, they don't seem to be mandatory in Hoppin' John. One big decision is whether to use Chinese or American style rice. For seasoning, how about Sichuan peppercorn instead of the thyme and cayenne. Have fun!

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A friend suggested mung beans. I'm also considering smoked or BBQ duck as the meat, but still leaning toward the BBQ pork. – wdypdx22 Feb 10 '11 at 22:55
I think mung beans are too small, not gonna be the right texture. – Michael at Herbivoracious Feb 10 '11 at 23:02

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