These small, reddish brown beans are my favourite. They are a staple of Japanese cuisine and hold the key to many digestive problems of the Western world. The Chinese use them for drying damp, which is such a prevalent digestive condition in our society. Damp conditions traditionally reflect an intake of too much greasy food and a sedentary lifestyle – in short an imbalance – yet it can also represent internal yeast overgrowth such as Candida or edema.
Most of us who desperately attempt the painstaking task of shedding kilos will know how frustrating it is after cutting down on fat and increasing cardio vascular activity that nothing diminishes – a soul destroying realisation. However, all is not lost. Once you acquire an early affinity for the energetics of food, you will begin to comprehend their healing properties.
This is easily demonstrated with aduki. Firstly soak the beans overnight, drain, refresh, cover with water and simmer – notice that the cooking water starts to evaporate very quickly, and if you were to leave the kitchen you may come back to a black mess in you saucepan (believe me, I know!). Add more water while they simmer. Now start to appreciate why the water is disappearing so fast – it is not just because it is boiling; it is because the adzuki beans are absorbing the liquid, i.e. they are drying out the pot.
So, consider the effect that they will have on the body if this is what happens to them during the cooking process. They will ultimately dry unused bodily fluid (usually fat), and absorb and eliminate it. Surely this has potential, and if the person has a cold and damp condition, then those warming and drying foods are combined to remedy their plight.
Aduki beans have a cooling nature, yet coupled with leeks, ginger and garlic their thermal energy becomes more warming and more drying when shitake mushrooms are added.