Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Changing Palates: Yuka’s Black Beans (Recipe)


When I was younger, I didn’t like black beans, or legumes of any kind. But when I gave up eating land animals for a while (or became a “pescatarian” as Steve Jobs called it) I started to develop a taste for beans. I quickly got over the cultural wall of expecting certain things to be sweet vs. savory (e.g., rice is a staple and not a dessert, so I don’t grok rice pudding, black beans are usually sweetened when it appears in Japanese cooking, so a side of black beans to go with tortilla chips didn’t seem right to me either), by making it into something my eyes or palate could not compare to something I was familiar with.

Yuka’s Black Beans

  1. In a heavy sauce pan or cast iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sauté 1 large onion (roughly chopped), with minced garlic (5 cloves) until they start to develop a slight color, on medium high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, chop 1 red bell pepper, and toss it into the onion mixture with 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper. If you like a little kick, add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne.
  3. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes with their liquid and keep the heat at medium high heat to develop some sugars in the tomatoes for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure the bottom doesn’t get burned.
  4. Add 2 cans of drained black beans, as well as 2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of thyme, and turn the heat to medium low. Salt and pepper to taste, adjusting finally with lime juice and a handful of chopped cilantro.

This recipe reheats well (or some might say it gets better the day after with all the spices melding and tomatoes developing more flavor).

Photo: Street art by a Japanese grocery store in Toronto, Canada


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This entry was posted on September 24, 2015 by in Recipes and tagged , , .
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