What are Adzuki beans?

Adzuki beans have been used since ancient times in Japanese “Kampo” (Japanese traditional medicine). The beans nourish the kidneys and bladder and are linked to the water element that help regulate emotions like fear. Also, adzuki beans contain lower fats and oils than any other bean, bringing us amazing health benefits.

adzuki beans

Adzuki Beans – Reminding us to slow down

The most important benefit of eating the Kampo way, also related to the Tao way, is to balance the 5 flavours: sweet, bitter, pungent (spice), salt and sour. These flavours nourish our organs as well as our thoughts and emotions. Kampo is part of Tao Te Ching (a traditional Chinese text) which suggests that nature is our guide teacher, and perhaps Covid is guiding us to slow down. The first (and last) step to be mindful is to respect the grower or producer of the food when shopping and preparing your meal. Try cooking this meal with an intention, bringing care and love to each ingredient.

In this recipe the adzuki beans go with kombu or wakame (the Co-op stocks wakame). These are both edible seaweed from Japan and are full of good nutrients. Kombu is a good source of glutamic acid and contains extremely high levels of iodine, an essential mineral responsible for growth and development.

adzuki stew

The recipe


  • 2 cups adzuki beans (soaked overnight)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Wakame
  • Onion
  • Seasonal vegetables (pumpkin / sweet potatoes / carrots / beetroot / celery)
  • Tomato paste
  • Spring Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Coriander and/or Parsley
  • Umeboshi plums (optional)

Served with a bowl of brown rice and/or flatbread.


Start by cooking low heat the beans for 20 to 30 min with loose cover. Remove any froth then add a few slices of ginger, close lid.

Add wakame approx 5 cm piece to remove excess salt. Maintain low heat until beans soften 45/60 min.

Add sliced onion, seasonal vegetables and cook to suit your preferred texture consistency. Add in optional tomato paste to finish.

Stir teaspoon of miso into serving bowls with broth, garnish with celery tops, spring onions, parsley and/or coriander. Serve with brown rice, umeboshi plums and flatbread.