Azuki-bean cured bacon?!

4 Mar

The Chicago Reader has been doing a series on chefs using unfamiliar (to them) ingredients, like natto. A number of these have been Asian staples that I’ve grown up eating, and it’s been interesting to see what they come up with — it’s usually something totally bizarre. Like this azuki-bean paste bacon:

As I’ve mentioned before, the Japanese like their beans for dessert, and azuki-bean paste is a common filling for things like sweet rolls and mochi cakes; I think it’s also a Kit Kat flavor. So the thought of using it in a savory context is as weird to me as, well, eating sweetened bean paste is to most Westerners, I suppose. And the puree with the bean paste and kim chee?! Next thing you know, they’ll be putting wasabi in chocolate!

Here’s a link to the full article, complete with recipes, should you want to recreate this perversion in your own kitchen. Next month’s ingredient is fish eyeballs, which is supposed to be the best part of a fish head. (Watch for the fish head curry post, coming soon.)

*Thanks to the Chicago Reader’s Key Ingredient series!

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