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When you forget to soak them overnight, just quick soak beans instead! This method is easy and works for any type of beans and other legumes.
Imagine the frustration… You’ve prepped all of the ingredients for a delicious pot of navy white beans or black bean soup for dinner. The hard work is done, and when you’re ready to start cooking, you realize the recipe requires you to soak the beans for 6-10 hours before cooking them. Oh no!
This happens more often than you might think (it’s happened to me more than once!). If and when it happens to you, there’s no need for frustration. Take a deep breath, then use these instructions to quickly soak your beans. You’ll be on your way to a delicious meal in no time!
To quick soak beans… or not
Now, some of you may be wondering, “Do you have to soak beans”? It is even necessary?
Well, the answer depends on who you ask. I’ll say this; there are known health benefits of soaking beans, especially for people with intestinal and/or digestive issues. There’s also the uncomfortable truth that soaking reduces the phytic acid that can cause gassiness.
Plus, professional chefs do it and they aren’t the type to do something for no reason. For the record, I will never turn down an opportunity to save time in the kitchen.
Long before he started writing, award winning journalist, author and cook, Michael Ruhlman, had a small food blog like this one.
He used the blogging platform to share his cooking knowledge and experience for several years; then he began sharing that same information in his books. In The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef’s Craft for Every Kitchen, Ruhlman explains the importance of soaking beans. That sealed the deal for me.
How to quick soak beans
- Clean and sort them.
Rinse your beans in a colander with cool tap water. Then pick through and discard any little stones or debris that may be packaged with them accidentally.
- Cover with water. Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with about 2 inches of water.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat, leave the pot uncovered and cook the beans for 5 minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat and soak the beans. Let the beans soak in the hot water for an hour.
- Drain, rinse, and cook! Drain the beans into a colander, rinse and then cook according to your favorite recipe.
Drain the soaking water from the beans into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Transfer it to a covered container and store it in the refrigerator to use later, as the base for a delicious soup stock!
How to use them
As I mentioned above, you can use this method for all types of beans, for whatever dish you are preparing. After soaking, go ahead and make your dish following the recipe instructions.
If you don’t already have a recipe in mind, quick soak the beans for a batch of cilantro jalapeño hummus for a delicious, healthy afternoon snack!
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Jan 23, 2014, was last updated with new content on Nov 29, 2021.