Miso-Molasses Braised Beans By Mark Graham

Inspired by a Japanese chef I’ve had the pleasure of working with, this recipe kind of lives in the world of Japanese comfort food, and the world of New England Baked Beans at the same time. I serve this with short grain rice, and steamed Bok Choy.



  • 1 pound kidney beans, rinsed and picked through*
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 Tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1, 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard (I use Dijon mustard)
  • ¼ cup sake (or 3 Tablespoons sauvignon blanc, and 1 Tablespoon white vermouth)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • Garnish
  • 3 scallions, very thinly sliced on the bias
  • ½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Stir together the beans, water, salt, and baking soda in the bottom of a 4-quart pressure cooker. Place a metal trivet atop the beans.

  2. Stir together miso pastes, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, mustard, sake, and molasses in a small oven-proof bowl until almost smooth. Place this bowl on the trivet and close the pressure cooker.

  3. Cook over high heat until high pressure is reached, and the steam is escaping in short bursts that are about 10-seconds apart, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, allowing steam to escape in short bursts that are about 10-20 seconds apart, until the beans are tender, about 50 minutes.

  4. Release pressure following your manufacturer’s directions for “fast release” (my pressure cooker’s instructions are to carefully place the pressure cooker in the sink and allow cold water to run across the pot until the pressure eases – takes a few seconds).

  5. Check that the beans are tender; if not, return to pressure and cook another 5 minutes, releasing pressure as indicated above.

  6. Carefully remove the oven-proof bowl, and transfer contents to a blender. Carefully blend the hot liquid until smooth on very low speed.

  7. Drain the beans of half their cooking liquid and stir in the puree. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with freshly chopped scallions and cilantro.

*I always rinse my beans before cooking and pick through them to remove any stones or beans that are broken. 

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