Buy Dried Soybeans at Natural Food Stores

Times Staff Writer

Question: This is my second request for information on soybeans--where to buy them, source of energy, protein, etc.

Answer: Sorry, but better late than never? Dried soybeans may be purchased at any time of the year in natural food stores and Asian markets.

According to “Nutritive Value of American Foods--In Common Units,” U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Handbook 456, one cup of cooked soybeans contains 234 calories, 19.8 grams protein, 10.3 grams fat, 19.4 grams carbohydrate, 131 milligrams calcium, 322 milligrams phosphorus, 4.9 milligrams iron, four milligrams sodium, 972 milligrams potassium, 50 international units Vitamin A, .38 milligrams thiamine, .16 milligrams riboflavin and 1.1 milligrams niacin.

In “Bruce Cost’s Asian Ingredients” (William Morrow & Co.,1988: $22.95) author Cost says, “There are two dried soybeans sold in Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets, in bulk or in one pound plastic bags: a straw-colored bean (yellow bean) whose shape has been likened to pearls; and a dusty-looking black soybean whose shape, while still roundish, is slightly more bean-like.


“Most useful are the light-colored beans, from which soybean milk, bean curd, miso, soy sauce and soybean sprouts are produced. They’re occasionally cooked, but first must be soaked overnight, drained and rinsed, then boiled for about 10 minutes and drained and rinsed again, before they’re finally seasoned and cooked. Toasted beans are cooked with rice gruel or ground into a flour, which is most popular in Japan.

“Black soybeans, labeled (if at all) ‘Dried Black Beans’ in Asian markets, are more likely to be just cooked and eaten. Koreans simmer them with soy sauce and sugar until the sauce disappears, at which point they’re tossed with a little sesame oil, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and served. In Korean five-grain rice (ogopap), black soybeans are combined with glutinous rice, sorghum, millet and red beans. The Chinese cook and mash black soybeans into pastes, which are sweetened and stuffed into pastries called black bean cakes.”

Q: I purchased a cookbook by two English home economists. Many of their recipes call for wholemeal flour. I can’t find this in my local store. Can this be purchased in the United States, or might it be called something else?

A: According to a Scottish friend, British wholemeal flour is equivalent to our whole-wheat flour.

In response to the Jan. 26 You Asked About . . . column about differences in the nutritional value of broccoli florets and stems, Genivieve Ho, Family and Consumer Sciences adviser, UC Cooperative Extension, updates her previous comment that the darker portions are higher in nutrition, with this information from the Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter:

“Ounce per ounce, the florets contain nearly eight times as much of the Vitamin A-like compound beta-carotene as the stalks. Still, one raw stalk provides half the USRDA for Vitamin A. Moreover, it would be a shame to throw away the stalk because, like the florets, it contains B vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, iron and fiber.”

Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About . . ., Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.