5 Ingredients or Fewer

Perfumed Adzuki Beans and Rice with Bourbon and Bacon

March 21, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-5
Author Notes

The flavor profile of adzuki (or azuki) beans tends toward sweet; here in Hawaii, they are ubiquitous, not only in traditional Japanese confections such as yokan, or stuffed in mochi, or manju, but even as an addition to your shaved ice (if you’ve been to Matsumoto’s on the North Shore, you know what I’m talking about). Although I have never loved the beans in these sweet applications, I could not resist pairing them with the layered, complex smoky-sweet of Bourbon and uncured applewood smoked bacon. Cooking the beans with Volcano rice adds another lovely fragrance and nutty, almost vanilla dimension. - gingerroot —gingerroot

Test Kitchen Notes

Gingerroot has come up with a terrific twist on a popular comfort food dish. We enjoyed this dish right out of the pan for a warming lunch during a cold snap. This is easy to prepare and full of flavor, with bits of smoky bacon providing crunch and nice tender, yet firm beans providing a lovely bite. The bourbon gives the dish some nice extra flavor; I would even add a little more. I was not able to locate volcano rice in my area, but used a mix of red and brown rices, the instructions of which both advised cooking time similar to volcano so I didn't even have to adjust cooking time. I highly recommend the leftovers warmed up with a fried egg on top -- delicious! - healthierkitchen —healthierkitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup dried adzuki beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked in water overnight
  • 3 strips thick, uncured, applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 cup Volcano rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons good bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar (start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste)
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  1. In the morning after soaking overnight, discard any beans that are floating. Drain water. If you are not going to cook right away, cover container with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Slice bacon in half, lengthwise, and then chop into small pieces. Add bacon to cold saucepan or Dutch oven and turn heat to medium. Cook bacon until fat is rendered and pieces are crisp and golden. Transfer cooked bacon to a small bowl and set aside. Drain off all but one tablespoon of grease.
  3. Add beans to pan, stir, and then add rice. Stir to coat in bacon drippings. Add bourbon, stir and cook, about a minute, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add water, bring mixture to a simmer, and cover pan, lowering heat. Cook until liquid is absorbed and beans and rice are tender, about 30-35 minutes.
  4. Fluff mixture with a fork.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of agave, reserved bacon pieces, and mix into beans and rice. Add additional agave if necessary. Add salt to taste. Serve hot or warm and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ryan Adriano
    Ryan Adriano
  • lorigoldsby
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
  • healthierkitchen
  • hardlikearmour

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

16 Reviews

Ryan A. November 28, 2018
this hella good
lorigoldsby March 19, 2012
I just saw a bag of these beans in my pantry and thought, I need to find a good recipe for these, and then it was a featured recipe! Ask and you shall receive?
gingerroot March 20, 2012
I've definitely had that experience here - having an ingredient on hand and a recipe presenting itself...funny how that happens. In any case, thanks so much, Lori! I hope you enjoy!
BoulderGalinTokyo March 17, 2012
I would like to try this but I don't know Volcano rice- brand name or a type like mochi rice?
gingerroot March 17, 2012
Hi BGT, Volcano rice is from Indonesia and Lotus Foods sells it. http://www.lotusfoods.com/Volcano-Rice/p/LOT-503219&c=LotusFoods@SRI
If you can't get volcano rice, the Lundberg mix of red and brown rice that healthierkitchen used will also work. Hope you enjoy it!
healthierkitchen April 12, 2011
Volcano rice at my new WF market! Will make again and use the volcano this time!
gingerroot April 13, 2011
Yay! So glad to hear you'll be making it again. Thanks, healthierkitchen.
hardlikearmour March 21, 2011
This sounds yummy! Could I substitute honey for the agave?
gingerroot March 21, 2011
Thanks, hardlikearmour. It is definitely comfort food. I think a mild honey would work, or even maple syrup. I'd just start by adding 1 tablespoon and then more to taste. Hope you enjoy it if you try it!
healthierkitchen March 28, 2011
I think maple syrup would be delicious - add to the smoky flavor! I made this yesterday and it's terrific. We've had a cold snap, so it was great hot, love the bacon bits mixed throughout!
drbabs March 21, 2011
LOVE Matsumoto's, but I think we liked the shave ice at the base of Diamondhead even better! (Maybe because we had just hiked up and back in the rain..............) Thanks for a great recipe!
gingerroot March 21, 2011
Oh, do you mean Waiola Shave Ice? They ARE the best in my opinion - the ice is so soft. Plus, the lines are not as long...Thanks, drbabs!
healthierkitchen March 21, 2011
sounds just delicious!
gingerroot March 21, 2011
Thanks so much healthierkitchen!
healthierkitchen March 25, 2011
I'll be testing this, but I'm not sure I've seen volcano rice around my area. There is a Lundberg mix with a couple of red and a brown rice - do you think that would work? I'll miss out on the vanilla scent, I know.
gingerroot March 25, 2011
Hi healthierkitchen! Thanks for testing this. I was actually really surprised to find volcano rice in the bulk bin at one of my local health food stores - I don't remember ever seeing it before. Lotus Foods is another brand I've seen that makes volcano rice. If you can't find it, I think the Lundberg mix would be fine; the resulting texture might be slightly different. Hope you enjoy it!