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Chinese legume dishes?

  • f

I've read that legumes are eaten in China, esp by those who can't afford much meat. Aside from tofu dishes and plain edamame, I've never seen any recipe for a Chinese dish with legumes. Do they exist?

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  1. It's mostly soy. There are dishes made from mung beans and adzuki beans, though more for dessert. Peas are also used but I'm having a hard time thinking of any other legumes in widespread use.

    5 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      bean desserts are grody :)

      are there soy dishes besides the plain/roasted edamame? I guess you could add soy beans to a stir fry like anything else...

      1. re: flies

        There's a Shanghainese dish of bean curd skin strips tossed with pickled vegetable (red-in-snow), edamame (mao dou in Chinese) and sometimes pork strips that I've eaten any number of times but don't have a recipe for. Very savory.

        1. re: flies

          Oooh - I disagree. Red Bean ice cream & sweetened red-bean-paste-filled "moon" cakes are delicious.

          1. re: Breezychow

            I love, love, love red bean ice cream!

            And, there are tons of mochi styled cakes filled with different kinds of bean pastes that are delicious. I'd post the names if I knew them. I buy them packaged at the Asian market.

          2. re: flies

            There is a simmered soybean and there are of course products made out of soybean which become all sorts of other things.

        2. Aside from the usual soybean products, the Chinese also use fermented soy beans (known as "fermented black beans") in several forms. They add a lot of zing to stirfry dishes, & I try to have the basic dry salted/fermented form & the jarred paste on hand at all times. Both are available at Asian markets or online.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Breezychow

            those a more seasonings than main constituents.

            1. re: K K

              These are the actual bean pods and not the individual beans which would constitute the eventual legume that the OP asked about.

              1. re: wattacetti

                OK thanks for clarifying. There's also 蠶豆 which is the equivalent of broad or fava bean.

                Stir fried with garlic and snow ear funghi (Chinese receipe, might want to use google translator)


                Or the Shanghainese style, a few recipes also in Chinese



              1. Black bean paste (as a condiment and sauce)

                Bean soup (usu. with pork spareribs, ear fungus, and daikon)

                Fermented yellow beans (not tofu)

                Sprouted yellow beans

                1. There are plenty of legume recipes on Chinese websites. More legumes found in Chinese cuisines:

                  Both field and garden peas
                  Black soybeans

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: scoopG

                    Thanks for all the replies, ppl.

                    scoopG: I can't really imagine cooking lentils in a chinese style, what would you do with them?

                    1. re: flies

                      Lentils are commonly used in soups (whole, not pureed)

                      1. re: flies

                        Hi flies - There are Ginger Lentils - where the lentils are cooked, left whole to cool and then mixed with minced ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and sesame oil.

                        Then there is Shredded Pork with Lentils, Braised Pork with Lentils and Lentil Stew Noodles.

                        Am trying to track down now the source of some bit of a story I read where Mao Zedong had to ban Lentil Noodles or Lentil Stew Noodles for a time at Yanan during WWII!

                    2. As someone else mentioned, peanuts are legumes and used in quite a few recipes.
                      I have also found this recipe for Chinese Black Bean soup, considered very healthful on so many different levels.http://www.noobcook.com/chinese-black...

                      1. Is the OP really referring to the seeds of the fruiting body as "legumes", or any part of the fruiting body, or any part of a plant that is a member of the leguminaceae?

                        • garden peas, mentioned by ScoopG (yes, it's a legume) -->fried rice
                        • tamarind (yes, another legume) --> to impart sourness/tanginess etc [and in Indian etc cooking, of course]
                        • pea shoots, long beans (mentioned already), etc --> stir fried as a veggie, etc

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: huiray

                          Are those used to round out a low-meat diet, in the way that soy, lentils and other 'daal' are use in India and the Americas?

                          1. re: paulj

                            Tamarind is used as a spice/condiment.

                            The others I mentioned (pea shoots etc) are eaten in their own right, not so much as for "rounding out" a meal. Chinese food is generally not heavy on meat and uses far, far more vegetables (and legumes and grains) and such in the cuisine than "Western" cuisine. Meats in Chinese and much of other East/SE/South Asian cuisine tend to be used traditionally more as accompaniments to vegetables/grains/legumes/non-meat in people's diets on a day-to-day basis rather than the focus of the diet as is the case in Western cuisine.

                            Banquets and special occasion meals do tend to have meat-heavy dishes.

                          2. re: huiray

                            I'm principally looking for non-meat protein within chinese cuisine. I'm already familiar with tofu and seitan, and i was interested in beans and lentils, etc.