Kuromame: Nimame and Products using Black Soybeans

As “Kuro-Mame (黒豆)” literally means “black bean” in Japanese, people who are not familiar with Japanese food might not know what kind of bean it is. 

Kuro-Mame (黒豆)

Kuromame from Tanba

Kuromame, also called “Kuro-Daizu (黒大豆)” or “Budo-Mame (ぶどう豆)” in Japan, is actually a species of soybean and known as black soybeans in English-speaking countries. 

When Japanese people hear Kuro-Mame, the first thing that comes to many people’s mind is most likely “Ni-Mame (煮豆: literally meaning Boiled Beans)”.

Kuromame no Nimame (黒豆の煮豆)

Kuromame no Nimame

The dish using black soybeans, “Kuromame no Nimame (黒豆の煮豆)” is said to have been first created in the Edo period (1603 to 1868) by a high-class Ryotei restaurant “Yaozen (八百善)” in Edo (present-day Tokyo),

and today the dish has become a staple in Osechi Ryori, the specially prepared dishes that are eaten during the New Year’s holiday in Japan.

Usually, it takes a lot of time and labor for preparing the dish Kuromame no Nimame, but this recipe is highly regarded for making that simple and used in many households.

Other Uses

Kuromame Tea

In Japan, the black soybean Kuro-Mame is processed into various kinds of food and beverage products, and the representative example includes,

  • Kuromame Amanatto (黒豆甘納豆: Sweet Boiled Bean Confection using Kuromame)
  • Kuromame Kinako (黒豆きな粉: Roasted Black Soybean Flour)
  • Kuromame Senbei (黒豆せんべい: Kuromame-Embedded Rice Cracker)
  • Kuromame-Cha (黒豆茶: Black Soybean Tea)
  • Kuromame Cocoa (黒豆ココア: Cocoa Drink containing Roasted Black Soybean Powder)
  • Kuromame Coffee (黒豆コーヒー: A Blend of Coffee Beans and Black Soybeans)

Nutrients and Health Benefits 

Kuromame Amanatto

In nutrient composition, Kuromame is almost equivalent to the soybean Daizu, but the black soybean has something that acts as an α-glucosidase-inhibitor and can suppress the increase of blood sugar level.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 黒豆 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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