Dried Soybeans

The little soybean is a nutritional powerhouse that has been a staple of the Asian diet for over 5,000 years. The yellow soybean is the most familiar, but the black soybean's wonderful flavor and tender texture are making it increasingly popular.

Storing dried soybeans

Soybeans are usually sold in bulk or in small packages at natural food stores and some supermarkets. These can be stored in an air-tight container for long periods of time. Cooked soybeans, both yellow and black, are now available in cans in natural foods stores.

Cooking basics

As with any dried beans, you must sort through the soybeans before cooking and discard any broken beans or small stones that you find, then rinse the beans well. Dried soybeans can be cooked in either of the following ways:

Dried Soybean Tips

  • Do not add salt or acidic ingredients (such as tomatoes, lemon juice or vinegar) to yellow soybeans until they are thoroughly cooked or the beans will not soften properly. However, you may add these when cooking black soybeans to help them retain their shape.
  • You may cook soybeans without presoaking them, but the cooking time will be longer and some beans may break.
  • The water used for cooking soybeans makes a tasty base for soups, sauces and gravies. The liquid from black soybeans is especially flavorful.
  • Prepare a big batch of soybeans and freeze them in small containers or zippered bags to be used as needed.
  • Add cooked soybeans to soups, stews, chilies or casseroles.
  • Substitute canned and home-cooked beans for each other in recipes (a 15-oz can contains about 1-1/2 cups beans).
  • Try using black soybeans in recipes calling for regular soybeans or other dried beans.