Hot answers tagged

51

You'll sometimes hear television cooking show hosts describe what they're doing as "cooking out" the paste. What they're actually doing is altering the flavor of the chili itself, not manipulating the level of capsaicin that was introduced. If you take a typical chili paste which has been combined with garlic and other things and then saute it in a fat, you ...


27

To take one concern away - practically none of the worm-looking parasites in food are dangerous. They are yucky, but harmless, even nutritious. But as far as I can see it from the picture, these are not worms at all. Beans and related plants have an embryo in their seeds. In white legumes, the embryo is a light pink color and looks indeed like a larva. The ...


24

Soften. Other things that typically are added with salt will tend to toughen the beans, but it isn't the fault of the salt. For decades, chefs have circulated the oral tradition that adding salt hardens beans, but it's a myth. Several scientific studies verify that adding salt to the soaking water for dried beans will reduce the cooking times. The first ...


22

Sorting means a few things: Remove foreign objects like small stones, other seeds, twigs.... that may have accidentally been packed with the beans. Remove damaged (think insect damage, for example) or otherwise shrivelled, infected or moldy beans and loose skins. Hint: Hollow beans and skins float up. Double-check for bug infections. Sometimes there are ...


20

Most beans can be soaked and cooked together with two exceptions. The beans should obviously have similar cooking times. For example I wouldn't cook chickpeas with other, harder beans because the chickpeas would be mush. Most varieties do have similar cooking times so this isn't often a problem. Second, black beans shouldn't be soaked with any other beans ...


19

Yes, it is normal for pulses to develop froth when soaked. I've seen it at lower temperatures and shorter soaking times. They can feel slimy too. This isn't a sign of bacteria development in itself. Chickpeas, as well as other legumes, contain lots of saponins. Saponins are a type of detergent, and they form a foam when dissolved in water. An example is ...


19

Assuming the can was canned properly and has not been damaged, the contents are effectively sterile, because the food is boiled in the can after it's sealed. There might be some degradation in texture and taste, but in terms of food safety, they are effectively safe. Note that the date on your tin is given as Best Before, not Use By. That generally means it'...


17

If you want to reduce total preparation time, you can skip the soak. Then you can just boil for about 4-6 hours, instead of soaking overnight. This is not a tradeoff most cooks are willing to make, since it wastes quite a bit of energy, and reduces the taste qualities of the prepared beans somewhat. If you want it even faster, as weets mentioned, pressure ...


16

Summary: Baking soda is mostly used to soften the beans faster and decrease cooking time by increasing pH. In some scenarios, it has been shown to aid in breaking down gas-causing sugars as well. Higher concentrations of baking soda and/or pressure cooking may be needed to make this latter effect significant. In most cases, an increased soaking time will ...


16

Soaking beans will not soften them. If done for a very long time (i.e., days), some beans will eventually begin to sprout or ferment, at which point they will become softer. But that is generally not desirable for basic cooking. Instead, you'll need to cook the beans to get them to soften. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer until the interior is the ...


16

Lard is the fat of choice in many "el cheapo" canned refried beans, and could be what you are missing.


15

Mark Bittman distinguishes three techniques: Quick-Soak (boil, turn off heat, let soak 2 hrs, return to heat, simmer til done), No-Soak (boil then simmer, til done), and Long-Soak (soak in cold water for 6-12 hrs, drain, simmer til done). (taken from here) The cooking time of beans varies from bean to bean. Bittman prefers the "quick soak" variant, and ...


15

These are fava beans, the term "foul" (uncommon transliteration) on the pack hinting at a dish that these beans are typically used for: A ful, a stew-like dish of cooked and spiced beans from the Middle East.


14

According to the Kitchen Companion, a terrific general handbook which I recommend, 1 lb (about 2 cups) of dried beans is roughly 6 to 7 cups cooked beans, and one 15oz can of cooked beans is roughly 1.75 cups drained, making it equivalent to 1/4 to 1/3 lbs ( or 1/2 to 3/4 cup) dried. Per my personal experience, dried beans increase in volume from 2.5X at ...


14

If Wikipedia is to be trusted (and in this case, their source is the FDA), there is in fact a toxin in some raw beans, such as kidney beans. The toxic compound phytohaemagglutinin, a lectin, is present in many common bean varieties, but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans. White kidney beans contain about a third as much toxin as the red ...


13

As others have said, soaking mostly decreases cooking time. That's the main reason to do it. With some beans, the difference in time is minimal, but with tougher beans that take longer to cook (e.g., black beans), soaking can reduce cooking time significantly, particularly if the beans are a little older and more dried out. The reason is because the ...


13

I've found stones in dried beans, so it's no myth. Not common, but I'd say I find one every year or two. If you simply swallowed a small stone, it would almost certainly pass without harm, but as TFD pointed out in his comment, biting down on one could be an expensive and painful dental experience. What I do is spread the beans out on a kitchen towel in a ...


12

The most commonly used method is the Swiss Water Process: A batch of unroasted beans is soaked in hot water. Caffeine is water soluble, so it's extracted from the beans. However, some of the other substances that give coffee its flavour ("coffee solids") are also water-soluble and are also extracted. The first batch of beans is discarded and the caffeine ...


12

The actual action of soaking is what does most of the work. Most legumes have complex oligosaccharides, a type of complex sugar. Digestion of this complex sugar is what causes flatulence. By soaking your beans will help remove some of this excess sugar. Be sure you discard the soaking water. Though it is often said that adding baking soda helps I've yet ...


12

The interior of modern cans are a heat resistant plastic (remember they pressure cook the cans at the factory), and will be fine for heating liquid things Just don't try using it to fry stuff!


12

Summary: Don't toss the soak water. First, to address the food safety issue, phytohaemagglutinin is gradually destroyed by temperatures above 175F or so. The FDA has referenced studies (see pp. 254-256) which show that 10 minutes of boiling will completely destroy any of that toxin in beans, though they recommend 30 minutes at boiling temperatures to be on ...


12

Welcome. According to the excerpt below from this page , kidney beans are an acceptable substitute. azuki bean = adzuki bean = Tiensin red bean = aduki bean = asuki bean = field pea = red Oriental bean = feijao bean = red chori Equivalents: 1 cup dried yields 3 cups cooked beans Pronunciation: a-ZOO-kee Notes: The Japanese use these small red ...


12

As the question you linked to says, canned beans are cooked thoroughly, so there's no issue. Pretty much the point of canned food is that it's ready to eat; if something required further cooking it would absolutely say on the label. (And given that people eat canned kidney beans without thorough extra cooking all the time, including in salads, clearly they'...


11

The effect in question is caused by the high content of oligosaccharides--short sugar chain molecules--in beans. Humans lack the enzyme to digest these, and so they reach the large intestine intact, where resident bacteria eat them producing gas. Therefore, there are two ways to mitigate the effect: Remove the ogilosaccharides Provide the enzyme This ...


11

The foam happens because legumes are rich in saponines (see my longer answer here). It contains nothing more and nothing less than the water in which you boil the beans, it just happens to trap air bubbles because of its physical properties. There are no specific culinary reasons for or against keeping the foam. If it is in the way, you can remove it, but ...


10

Go to the beans section in J. Kenji López-Alt's chili blog post: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/01/how-to-make-the-best-chili-ever-recipe-super-bowl.html In short: salt replaces calcium and magnesium in the beans' skins that make them tougher. The result is that when beans are soaked in salt water the skin softens at the same rate as the bean interior and ...


10

You probably want to just use already-cooked beans, from a can. (Hope there's a store nearby.) Then you just have to cook as long as it takes to let the flavors mingle; half an hour is plenty. If you happen to have a pressure cooker, you can cook dried beans much faster, something like 20-30 minutes. See for example this recipe - you can add back in ...


10

My first guess would be: more salt than you think. This is probably the main "secret" for most processed foods. Ortega Traditional Refried Beans have 560 mg of sodium per serving (that's a serving of 131 g, making 3.5 servings in a standard can). A 1/4 tsp of table salt has 590 mg. If you're making the equivalent of 1 can of beans, you would have to put ...


10

From long cooking, the capsaicin could distribute throughout the food in a way that will make it more palatable, but the capsaicin content will not drastically change. If this does not suffice: In a curry dish, heat is best made more palatable by mixing in an emulsified, fatty, rich component like coconut milk, cream, yoghurt (mind the proper technique here ...


9

I have read all the suggestions and have decided that there is no "One size fits all" answer...just common sense. If you are concerned about sodium/sugar -Rinse. If the liquid turns you off - Drain/Rinse. If you are putting them in a salad or dry dish - Rinse/Drain. When using canned beans in Chili, Soup, or any dish requiring liquid - Draining/Rinsing ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible