Kuromame (simmered black soybeans)

I know this is a little after the fact, but what are your New Year’s traditions? I love hearing about all the different things that other cultures and families do to celebrate, or the lucky things that you’re supposed to do or eat.

I’m half Japanese, so my family always does a huge sushi feast for New Year’s. But in addition to sushi, there are a few lucky things we do every year.

We always have to have mochi, which are Japanese rice cakes, as the first thing we eat in the new year. A lot of the time we’ll have that in ozoni, which is a light soup.

We also have to have kuromame, which are these simmered black soybeans – eat your bean for good health in the new year!

Growing up, we always bought a little can of kuromame, and nobody really liked them. But in the last decade, I started making this recipe, which originally came from La Fuji Mama – you should go check her TikTok out if you’re at all interested in Japanese food or culture!

These days, everybody LOVES the kuromame – I have to make a big batch every year!


slightly adapted from La Fuji Mama

  • 10.5 ounces kuromame (dried black soybeans)
  • 11 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp shoyu
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Cooking Directions
  1. Thoroughly rinse the beans in cool water, then drain and set aside.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the sugar, shoyu, and baking soda and let simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  3. Add the rinsed beans and the liquid to the pot of a slow cooker, cover, and let the beans soak 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Turn the slow cooker to LOW and cook for about 8 hours or overnight.  The beans are done when they are very tender.

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