Making your own: baked beans

Yes, I know what they do to you, but baked beans are also super delicious and a fave of the else seven fam.  However, they are hard to come by in Japan.  So far, my Toke-based baked bean experiences have been;

1) Finding tins of Heinz in Azabu-Juban for around AUD5 a pop.
2) Finding some weird Italian baked beans at an outlet store in....where?  Who knows? Anyway, they tasted like crap. Or like nothing, actually.
3) Once finding a store in my 'hood that sold Tesco ones, but never being able to find that store again.
4) Ordering a tin of organic ones from the US on Tengu or FBC or iherb - I can't recall which one and finding the taste quite...different.

Thus, I decided to make my own. I found a recipe online, but altered it somewhat based on what I had, so that it is more my own;

270g dry navy beans
855ml water
20 ml olive oil
One large white onion - chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic - minced
2tbsp organic molasses
20 ml sushi rice vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (or to taste - I like it fairly mustard-y)
Black pepper to taste
A shake of cinnamon

I followed the instructions as per the recipe, except that I cooked it uncovered for 11/2 hours instead of covered for 31/2 hours.

Beans - US1.73 for half a pack from
Onion - 33 yen from local supermarket
Chopped tomatoes - 200 yen from local supermarket
Garlic  - approx 15 yen from local supermarket
Molasses approx US0.30 for 2 tbsps from

The small stuff, I already had at home, but let's just say 100 yen for the rest for argument's sake (MAX!).  So - for six servings, I am looking at 550 yen in total.  Not bargain basement, but cheaper than Azabu-Juban!  They came out quite tasty - not much like Heinz - more like the Eden ones I got from the US.

Would I make them again?  Well - I still have navy beans and molasses and so on, so yes, but if I didn't have those things to hand, I don't think I would rush out and buy them to do it again.

Overall verdict: A reasonable taste, although not my idea of how baked beans should be.  Fun to make overall and quite simple, if lengthy in time.  However, baked beans might just have to be something that the else seven fam live without in the future.


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