Soy Beans

soy beans

Find Soybeans

Soybeans are one of the oldest and most widely used legumes in the world, and originated in China thousands of years ago. In the East soybeans have traditionally been processed in various ways, so that the end product, whether its tofu, tempeh, soy milk, nato, or soy sauce, rarely resembles the original bean. The reason for this processing is that soybeans require long hours of cooking, and fuel in most of Asia has always been costly and scarce.

The earliest reference recorded of soybeans in the West is late in the 18th century. It was discovered that they were extremely nutritious, but there was no great demand for them yet, until the World Wars when soybeans became indispensable. Many of the wartime cookbooks had recipes for soybean loaf, soybeans with Creole sauce, soybean croquettes plus innovative methods for reducing the required cooking time. Fortunately the pressure cooker had already been invented and perfected. But with the end of WWII the noble soybean, as a meal per se, was ignored in the western world in favor or fat juicy steaks.

Then came the 60's and with it a general interest in health foods. Soybeans made a comeback in the West, entire cookbooks have been dedicated to soybeans ever since.

Here is a humble contribution: "Ceviche de Frejol de Soya."

Soak and then cook in fresh water in a pressure cooker 1 lb of dried soybeans. When done and while still warm douse with the freshly squeezed juice of 2 or 3 of the most acid limes you can find. Add some previously washed and thinly sliced red onion ( to wash you rub the sliced onion with salt and then rinse under cold running water ), add some salad oil, salt, pepper, finely chopped rocoto or hot chili, washed with no seeds, and a few cilantro leaves also finely chopped.

This is sold in most Andean markets in Peru at noon, where fish for "real" ceviche isn't always available.

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