I picked up a bag of dried adzuki beans a long time ago when I saw them on special buy at ALDI. I had no idea what I would do with them, but I figured I’d work something out. Well, they sat in the back of the cupboard for months, taunting me, so I decided it was time to use them.
I love using beans in my cooking – they’re a great way to increase fibre and get a good hit of protein while having a meat-free meal. They are also very cheap to buy. And using dried beans and cooking them yourself makes them even cheaper. I often buy dried black beans and cook them in bulk in the slow cooker, then store in portions in the freezer for using in Mexican-style dishes later on. I did a little video showing how I do it on my Facebook page, here. But adzuki beans were new to me. New to you, too? Well here’s some info about them: they are also known as red mung beans. They are those small red beans which are often cooked with sugar and used as a paste in Asian sweets. As a result, you’re more likely to find them for sale in an Asian grocer than in a regular supermarket.
But they can also be used in savoury dishes. Jude Blereau has a recipe called “Warmly spiced pumpkin and adzuki bean soup” in her book Coming Home To Eat: Wholefood for the Family, but given that it is summer here, we weren’t in need of a warmly spiced soup. So I decided to use them for veggie burgers.
During my Sunday food prep session, I cubed and roasted some pumpkin and covered the beans with water to soak.
Next day, I cooked up the beans, kept some aside to make these burgers, and froze the rest in batches. I just used what I had to make up the recipe for the burgers, but they were so delicious, I wish I had made a bigger batch!
UPDATE September 2023: You can now buy tinned Adzuki beans in Woolworths supermarkets, under their Macro Organic brand. At only $1.50 for a 400g tin, they make this a super budget-friendly dinner.
Pumpkin and Adzuki Bean Burgers
- 1 1/2 cups cooked adzuki beans (or a 400g tin adzuki beans – you could easily substitute black beans or kidney beans)
- 1 1/2 cups cubed roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash)
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- handful of baby spinach, chopped
- 2 tablespoons quinoa flakes or fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Herbamare (a seasoned herb & vegetable salt you can find in the health food section of the supermarket – sub with 1/2 tsp regular salt)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 fan-forced).
- Mash pumpkin and beans together using a fork or potato masher, until roughly mashed (you still want a bit of texture in there).
- Add other ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Using wet hands, shape into 6-8 patties (depending on size – I did 4 large ones and 4 smaller ones).
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sprayed with olive oil. Spray tops of burgers with olive oil and place into oven for about 25 minutes, or until browned and crispy on the outside, turning halfway through cooking.
- Serve on buns with toppings of your choice. We went for lettuce, cheese, tomato, guacamole and mayo on toasted grain buns.