Bright red adzuki beans are primarily used in Asian recipes. The nutty, mildly sweet flavor makes them a suitable replacement in stews and chili, but their flavor really shines when they are combined with rice and other mildly flavored foods. Adzuki beans are sold dry and require pre-soaking, like most dried beans. The soaking breaks down the hard fibers in the beans so they cook more quickly and thoroughly. Soak beans the day you plan to use them, as adzuki only have a storage life of a day or two once they are soaked.
Place the adzuki beans in a colander. Sort the beans, disposing of any that are damaged or shriveled. Rinse the remaining beans in cool running water.
Pour the cleaned beans into a large pot. Add 6 cups of water to the pot for every pound of adzuki beans.
Cover the pot and bring the water to a full boil over medium-high heat. Boil the beans for two to three minutes.
Turn off the heat. Soak the beans in the pot for one hour. Do not remove the lid and let the heat escape during the soaking period.
Drain the adzuki beans in the colander. Replace the drained water with fresh water and continue cooking the beans as directed in the recipe you are using.
Soak the beans in room temperature water overnight. It takes the beans about eight hours to soften if you don't bring them to a boil first.