After the post on tofu coagulants, I got thinking about soybeans and dragged out my little collection of them. I imagine that you’re not surprised by my stash. I picked up different kinds while I was on the tofu trail. Some came from the health food market down the street while others were found at Asian markets and overseas. The other day while cleaning out my luggage I found a soybean I brought home from China. What’s with all the beans?
For one thing, there are so many ones! They are beautiful, with a wide array of colors and sizes. The little ones above are for making Japanese natto (slimy fermented soybeans), for example. Until I started working on the book, I had no idea that soybeans were that diverse. I just thought that they were yellow beans. Additionally, I wasn’t aware of their countless uses, from industrial uses to biodiesel.
I was mainly interested in finding good ones for soy milk and tofu. But when I started looking around for soybeans, I found out that even soybeans grown for human consumption vary.