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lupini beans???

i have literally been soaking and boiling some dried lupini beans for a week and they're still insanely bitter. is it time to give up?

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  1. A google search brought up this link that may help you...there are others.


    1. I bought some lupinis by mistake, thinking they were favas. I soaked them for 3 days, changing the water twice the first day, then once a day after that. This was according to some recipe I found online, also confirmed by the place I bought them. Then I boiled them until tender. They lost a lot of their bitterness and were edible, just not worth all that effort. I tossed them with some salt and we ate them as snacks. I'll never do it again.

      1. Lupini beans are a must in many italian households, especially over the holidays. We eat them more like an appetizer. I soak them for 24 hours and then boil them for about an hour. Once they cool I put them in a mason jar (actually right now they are in an old pickle jar) in water and about 1/4 cup of salt. I rinse them every 24 hours and resoak them in salt for about 2 weeks or so....much like when preparing fresh capers. We serve them in a marinade of olive oil, red wine viniger, and fresh basil. They are then eaten like nuts (they are not really soft), squeezing the bean out of the outer shelland discarding the shell. You can eat the shell if you like but its very tough. I actually like them pretty salty, so you can probably use less salt if you like...but thats really the key to getting rid of that bitterness.

        Our house is never without them...but I have never had them any other way.

        4 Replies
        1. re: crystinej

          i bought some of these suckers thinking they looked cool (and i cook a lot of beans anyway) and wanted to give them a try. so far i have: soaked overnight, then simmered for 1-2 hours, then changed the water and soaked for another day, then changed water, added salt and soaked for another day. and am now in my 5th day. i don't mind the prcoess, as long as the result is worth it, but when can i realistically begin tasting the bean to see if me likes? (i've already tried once and became an immediate sourpuss yesterday)

          1. re: mr mouther

            dear lord it's been a full week and while the texture is nice and the salt is deffy setting in, the bitterness stil comes after about 5 seconds of chewing necessitating a complete spit out. i'll let you know when they're finally edible. i'll probably celebrate with an entire six pack of beer in one sitting

          2. re: crystinej

            crystinej - question about your rinsing/soaking process: are you saying that after the beans cool and you put them in a jar w/ water and salt, you then rinse them every 24 hours for two weeks, or do you simply store them packed in salt for 2 weeks?

            It sounds like you've had positive results with your method...


            1. re: crystinej

              crystine, this is all new info to me. When i posted about lupini on the Boston board, someone replied that there are many lupini varieties and that the white ones do not require all the prep described on this thread. have you had them? are they just not as tasty and that's why everyone goes to all this trouble for this variety?

            2. If you are old enough to have watched The Frugal Gourmet, you'll remember that Jeff Smith had a very ecumenical attitude toward food. He'd try all sorts of different cuisines and food items, and appreciated just about everything, but I distinctly recall a program wherein he tasted lupini beans and ruefully admitted that he didn't understand how people could eat them, since they were so very bitter.

              3 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                today was the first day where i was actually able to swallow one of them, with the bitterness being far in the back. but still there. i'll just keep changing the water...

                1. re: mr mouther

                  OK, it's been two weeks and i actually was able to eat a bowl of em today. Not awful- I like the texture of beans after all. But holy shit what an effort for an ultimately flavorless snack. I'm gonna add some pickling spices, allspice berries and chili flakes and see if they become more tasty.
                  One thing that is a bonus, however, is the bowl of lupini bean skins after you're done eating em. Stick your fingers in em for the too-often-ignored pleasure of non-human sensuality

                  1. re: mr mouther

                    i realize this is becoming my lupini bean diary, but here's the deal: after pickling with spices, salt and sugar, these things have become pretty delicious. no special flavor on their own, but quite good now

              2. YUMMY RECIPE. LONG-WINDED STORY FOLLOWS. Guess cooking strange food comes naturally to me. I've made a delicious recipe that I really want to share. It was my first time making them. I didn't have any advice to go by and no recipes, just my Italian blood. I wanted to make them on Friday. I started soaking the dry beans Fri AM in Brita filtered water and changed the water twice Fri and then Sat AM, letting them soak overnight. Responsibilities stacked up, and when I came home that evening, I wasn't able to cook them, so I changed the water again, put them in the fridge, then changed the water again Sun morning. Then I started boiling them. They didn't look ready in 2 hrs, so I rinsed the water and put in fresh cold water. Maybe I'd have them for dinner instead of lunch. Another 2hrs later, they didn't look ready (why was the water yellow?), so I drained the water and added fresh Brita water. I boiled them another 4 hrs. They tasted ok. They had the nutty taste and texture of chickpeas, so I tried them with olive oil and vinegar, which was ok, but not superb. I tried a few other things, which were ok, but not amazing. So, I thought, "What stands good against hearty flavors?"
                And I mixed them and let them soak 2 days in SOBA-noodle sauce (it's a Japanese liquid which is part soy sauce and part mirin sugar-wine). WOW are they delicious. That sauce can stand up against the nutty flavor of buckwheat noodles or Lupini beans.

                1. Just notice this thread. I have a vacuum package of lupini beans that I brought home from Italy a few months ago. I have no idea if they are fresh or not but they are certainly not totally dried. They are an ochre yellow. The label says only lupini and salt.

                  Does anyone have an idea of how to prepare them? From the posts above, it sounds as if it may not be worth the effort but I hate to toss them without trying.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: erica

                    Erica, they are absolutly worth the time and work. Grampa (Portuguese-Hawiian) made them for Christmas Eves. We call them Ocho Beans, and it's been 45 years since I last had them, and I had looked for them for years. The ones in the jars were not tender or tasty, but at least I could finally identify the bean used to make those Ocho Beans, but Grandpas were delicious. Finally found the dry, and started them Monday. Today is Wednesday, they were less than half as bitter as they were the first day, and I have now boiled them for an hour- hour & a half. Just found I need to change the water frequently, and I thought he only spent 3 days processing them, but I realize that I was preparing them with child hood rememberences. Yes, Ocho Beans are well worth it, and lots of fun to eat.

                    1. re: Denise V.

                      Denise, I just saw this thread because my lupinis are finally ready to eat after 2 weeks. For people who say they have no taste, I disagree--it's about the same intensity as avocado, if you ask me... subtle but very nice. Can't wait to put them with olive oil and pepper! It's definitely an "artisanal" food, you can't get them any other way except soaking them yourself.

                      1. re: leahbird

                        leah, someone on my local boston board- prepares white lupini and they do not require so much work. have you had them?

                    2. re: erica

                      Erica, I think you have a snack pack that is ready to eat. Try popping one out the shell as CrystineJ says.

                    3. Got some at a gourmet store w/ olive oil, shallots, and rosemary. So delicious.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Jelyna

                        Lupini beans were a holiday treat for us growing up in a Portuguese household and were known as 'Tremecos'. My Grandmother (Vo Vo) would start the process about two weeks before Christmas and it IS a process not to be undertaken if you're not committed nor think it's worth it to do it correctly. I happen to think it is and have been 'passed down' this tradition from my mother. My sister and even my brother have tried their hand at it as well so I know between the three of us we will keep the tradition alive. First you need to pre-soak the dried beans in cold water for at least 24 hours...you'll need a big stockpot depending on quantity and covered over by 3 or 4 inches of water as they will plump up considerably. After the soaking, drain and rinse the beans with cold water. Put back in stockpot, fill with water to cover and bring to a full, good 'rolling boil.' Unlike what others have said, once they reach that vigorous boil (which takes a good 10 min. on high heat to achieve), I only boil them for 5 minutes or so and definitely not more than 10. You don't want them to overcook/get soft, as it is the NEXT soaking process that is the key to getting all the bitterness out. Warning...this is the time consuming part coming up! ;) After boiling, drain the beans and cool them down with cold water. You can use the stockpot for all the soaking process or even a deep plastic set tub type of clean dishpan/laundry tub.....whatever works. Also a neat trick if you don't always want to have to use a colander for draining purposes, you can use a clean, mesh laundry sack or cheesecloth... makes it easier/faster. Whatever method you use, the beans should soak in cold water to generously cover for 'at least' a full week to 10 days with the water being drained and changed twice daily. (or more) The more you change the water the better. You will DEFINITELY see the water turn yellow in color each time during this process for several days, eventually getting lighter and lighter in color which is a sign that the bitterness is soaking out. If you've lasted this long, try tasting one (nicking the skin with your teeth and popping bean out of its shell into your mouth) after 5 days, then 7 days...you should notice a difference as the bitterness fades. You want to soak them till there's no bitterness left and they basically taste 'bean flavorless' and the firmness should be 'al dente'.....it is the salt that will give them their flavor. After the soaking is done you can store them in large jars or other covered containers in the fridge. THIS is the time to salt them but again, depending on the quantity, don't salt the WHOLE batch at once (ie. more than you can eat in a few days) as the longer they stay in salt water it eventually will cause them to soften. I usually just salt a large jar at a time. Use a good couple of tablespoons of salt per jar and it will take about a day for it to soak in/flavor the beans. You can always add more to your liking. Don't worry if you happen to 'over-salt'....just drain and replace with fresh water. Some Portuguese festivals where I've tried them they add vinegar or spices to them...I guess different 'regions' of Portugal flavor them differently but I prefer them natural like a salted nut as that is the way I remember them from childhood. I hope this sets the record straight on preparation. 'Tremecos' are a considerable amount of work to 'get it right' but my whole family loves them and I think of my Grandmother smiling down her approval. Now I can't wait for Christmas! :)

                        1. re: Taurus

                          Taurus, thank you! I didn't give enough time to the soaking process for the 'Ocho (Lupini) Beans' according to what you have shared. No one on the other side of the family knew how. They were made by the adults who have all gone now, and the next generation forgot to ask questions until it was too late. I will do them again, but begin way sooner than the last time I tried them. December 1st might work...

                          1. re: Denise V.

                            You're very welcome, Denise....I was thrilled that someone responded so quickly and I am glad to be of help. I understand what you mean about the elders passing on before the next generation thought to ask. My mother (now a 'young' 90) never fixed them while her mother (my Vo Vo) was living and basically took over (after we missed having them so much) pretty much from memory and prepared them for a few years. Now that she's older, "we three" took over the task. In fact, I just bought FIVE one pound bags today if you can believe it....which I am going to bring to my brother's in a couple of weeks when I go for a visit (lives 3 hours away) as he had trouble finding them in his area now and it's his turn to prepare them for the family this year! Have beans, will travel! Good luck! :)

                            1. re: Taurus

                              Taurus, where did you find such a generous bag? I did good to find 8oz packages for $10 at the local Italian coffee roasters and specialty store. Haven't found them in the local Spanish stores either.

                              1. re: Denise V.

                                Hello again, Denise!
                                I live in MA. so this place of purchase is fairly close to me but I just checked and they DO have a website/mail order where you can purchase 2 lb. bags for $3.99. Not sure what the shipping charges are but with the price YOU paid for a mere 8 oz. can't see where added shipping would bring it up to more than that. Anyway, the place is "George's Bakery" in Methuen, MA. Here is a link to their mail order page, look to the column on the left and click on "Dried Beans." .....voila! Good luck and please let me know how you make out this Christmas! :)


                                1. re: Taurus

                                  Hey Taurus, after asking you this very pertinent question, I thought to myself, 'self, if they have found them locally at that kind of price, maybe I can find them too'.
                                  And so, I found them at 'Nuts Online' for $2.99 a pound. There seem to be several good references to go with them. The prices for nuts I use regularly were in their same ballpark, so I thinking that my local Italian Market was just really over pricing them to make a killing because that was the price 'per' an 8oz package. With shipping it may be good to check out "George's Bakery" in MA. and so, for the first time, this year the family gathering is to be at my house in Florida. Guess whats on the menu???

                                  1. re: Denise V.

                                    I did get them from George's Bakery at $1.99 lb. got 4 lbs. am working half of them right now. the other half for New Years. It was the USPS that raised the cost. under $14.00. but thinking about it; 1/2 lb for $10 x 2 which is what I did, and so 4 lbs for the $20 really evened things out. It was quite a raise. the beans are good quality and arrived in good condition. found a good quality linguisa sausage at the local grocers. yummm!

                                    1. re: Denise V.

                                      Season's Greetings, Denise! Glad you had success mail ordering from George's Bakery and looks like you still made out despite the postage! I can assure you they are good quality beans. My brother is probably starting our family holiday batch soon if he hasn't already....I can't wait! Hope my directions prove to be successful for you this time. Linguica...yum.... but if you like it a little spicier you should try chorizo! Good luck and do let me know how your beans come out! Merry Christmas!

                      2. My sisters love'em but I find them bitter.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pdxgastro

                          They won't be bitter if you soak them long enough re. my rather lengthy preparation process using the method I posted above back in Sept.

                        2. It really is not that complicated. These make great snacks.
                          To prepare: Rinse, then soak 24 hours or longer until plump. Rinse, then bring to a boil in plenty of cold fresh water. Boil for only 3 minutes after it comes to a rolling boil. Rinse, then put them in a glass or ceramic (not metal) bowl. Put the bowl under a tap and fill with cold water. Then turn the cold water down to a very slow trickle. Now walk away. Just let the water run. The beans will stay in the bottom of the bowl while the water constantly over flows. If you need the sink just move them out for a while. Rinse when you put them back under the tap. In 5 to 7 days they will be crisp, fresh tasting, but relatively bland. They will keep for weeks in the fridge if you change the water every 2 or 3 days. Do not salt the water.
                          You can use them in salads with your dressing of choice, but I just like munching them.They make a great after dinner munchie. Scoop some onto a plate and salt and pepper to taste. As you pop them out of the pod you will lick some of the salt and pepper off the pod. A glass of Chianti and congenial company and you are good to go. I know what I'm doing tonight.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: vincep

                            Vince, I'd hate to have your water bill. Changing the water 2-3 times a day will pretty much accomplish the same thing your 'leaving the water running' method. Guess it might be the right thing to do if you are trying to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting. Down here it's not a problem.

                            1. re: Denise V.

                              Funny, the "letting the water run constantly" method was actually the original way my grandmother did it but it still took 'at least' a week usually more like 10 days or so and the other method works just as well and I would say (IMO) wastes less water. How did yours come out this time Denise? Ours were great but unfortunately get gobbled up between all of us within the holiday weeks from just before Christmas through New Years! Seems we can never get enough of them....hmmm..... may just have to make my own stash for winter cravings! LOL

                          2. This recipe is from Italy and is easy and perfect.
                            Soak beans in water overnight.
                            Put beans in large pot and bring to a boil-then reduce heat to a very gentle boil for an hour.
                            Drain beans - add fresh water and change it every 2-3 hours until yo go to bed-do this for 3-4 days. Then disove a quarter cup of salt to 8 cups of fresh water and pack in jars.
                            Delicious and nutritious!

                            1. How can I make the Lupini Bean "SOFT"? I want to make a potato salad recipe I have with them.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: bluehue

                                In short I would say to boil them longer but you would still have to go through the 'de-bittering process'. Since afterward you'd STILL have to take the skins off (they're tough, not really edible) doubt they're conducive to the use you desire.

                                1. re: Taurus

                                  Oh Thank You so much for replying so soon. I have had some soaking for 3 days. Are those past the point of no return... to getting them soft? Should I start over to get a soft bean? The ones I have prepared won't go to waste. Just need soft beans. I have more beans.

                                  1. re: bluehue

                                    Not sure...may be past the point of no return....usually a 24 hour soak of the dried bean will soften them/plump them as much as they are going to. Then as I said you would just boil them longer to soften them more as you would do with pasta. No problem getting back to you if you have any more questions....I get notified in my e-mail re. posts/replies. :)

                                    1. re: Taurus

                                      Ok... making a new kettle full. I'll finish the process of the ones I started and keep them and enjoy them. Thank You again. I so appreciate your time.

                                      June :)

                              2. Hi all -

                                I recently bought a large glass jar of lupini beans (in brine) at a Middle Eastern market. I was so excited, given the nutritional value of these beans and the cost (24 oz was about $3.50!). I was hoping to serve them as part of a meze platter for a recent party. I even read this thread before buying them! But, I opened the jar and tasted one...and it was in fact, quite bitter. The beans are light yellow colored. Am I supposed to peel off the outer covering (I don't even know if there is one)?

                                Any input much appreciated in advance!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: kermit

                                  Hi there! For what it's worth, I never trusted jarred lupini beans, supermarket type (Pastene I believe) or otherwise. I remember getting them like that and...yuck! Even got them one time at a Portuguese festival and while THOSE were edible they had a vinegar taste like you described which is not what I grew up with and loved. I realize though that different regions of Portugal "season" them differently but the process of preparation should be the same as the long soaking/changing water period is the only good way to get the bitterness out. Then "ours" were always just salted, no brine/vinegar.You could always try to fresh water soak them to both take the remaining bitterness out as well as the briny taste....not 'sure' if it would work in this case but I know in making them if you go overboard and add too much salt in flavoring them at the end of the bitterness soaking out period...replacing the salted water in their jar with fresh and then letting them stand overnight in the fridge (where 'finished' beans should be stored anyway) will 'de-salt them a bit.' And yes, they are supposed to be a light yellow color and even jarred beans have the thin skin coating on them...which you just 'nick' at one edge with your front teeth and then you can just squeeze the bean with your thumb and first finger popping it out of the skin into your mouth. All it takes is a little practice to get it down! Hope this helps you out and if you have any more questions feel free to ask! :)

                                  1. re: Taurus

                                    How long can I have them canned in a jar? I have 3 quarts full. I added some salt before sealing them up. I agree with you. I bought store bought lupini beans canned in jars and I got an AWFUL taste with them. Not at all anything I could eat. I soaked my beans as you said and rinsed it everyday. Any suggestions besides a potato salad mixture to eat them? I have enjoyed them plain as well. THANK YOU

                                    1. re: bluehue

                                      Hello again....can't really answer your time question from experience as they never last long enough in my case to confirm! lol And I've never "put" them in anything just eat them salted as is, like any snack. If storing them for longer periods, I would recommend fresh water in jars without salt. However if yours have already been salted and stored, I guess it would depend on how much salt you used....an indication of impending spoilage would be if they start to look flaky as in the skins flaking off (due to the salt soaking) though you can still eat them like that...but it's the salt that starts spoiling them as once that flaking happens they soon become a bit slimy and get soft in texture. A 'fresh' lupini bean will be a smooth non-flaky skin, and firm 'al dente' in texture. If what you have stored in the jars "look" o.k. they most likely are fine. Might want to change the water on an every other day basis w/o salt and just salt as many as you're using each time. Maybe 'make less' to start with next time? lol Hope this info helps. :)

                                      1. re: Taurus

                                        thank you for your time and comment back :) I know nothing without this input. It helped.

                                    2. re: Taurus

                                      Hi Taurus - Thank you! This is very helpful. I'm going to give this a try, and will report back. I might wait to replace the brine with water until the weekend, as the holidays are coming up and beans are not on our menu! Thanks again, and happy Thanksgiving!

                                  2. It takes a good 10 days to detoxify lupini beans.

                                    1. If you have any Arab/Middle Eastern Markets, try there those are my source for both lupini and peeled dried fava beans

                                      1. I know this doesn't answer your question about cooking the dried lupini beans. But I wanted to share with others who might be interested. I've only had them from the jar, and they are not bitter. The ones I've tried are "Madama Oliva" brand. I've bought them at Sigona's in Redwood City, and my friend has bought them at a store in Glen Park, SF (I think). They have a great crunchy texture. I don't generally like beans, but these are not "bean-like". They look like a light gold version of edamames, are crunchier/chewier and hearty, and are a great addition to salads.