The kidney bean is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). It is named for its visual resemblance in shape and colour to a kidney. Red kidney beans should not be confused with other red beans, such as adzuki beans.
Cooked, boiled red kidney beans
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||532 kJ (127 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||7.4 g|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
There are different classifications of kidney beans, such as:
- Red kidney bean (also known as: common kidney bean, Rajma in India, Surkh (Red) Lobia in Pakistan).
- Light speckled kidney bean (and long shape light speckled kidney bean).
- Red speckled kidney bean (and long shape light speckled kidney bean).
- White kidney bean (also known as cannellini in Italy, lobia in India, or safaid (white) lobia in Pakistan).
Red kidney beans are commonly used in chili con carne and are an integral part of the cuisine in northern regions of India, where the beans are known as rajma and are used in a dish of the same name. Red kidney beans are used in New Orleans and much of southern Louisiana for the classic Monday Creole dish of red beans and rice. The smaller, darker red beans are also used, particularly in Louisiana families with a recent Caribbean heritage. Small kidney beans used in La Rioja, Spain, are called caparrones. In the Netherlands and Indonesia, kidney beans are usually served as soup called brenebon. In the Levant a common dish consisting of kidney bean stew usually served with rice is known as fasoulia. To make bean paste, kidney beans are generally prepared from dried beans and boiling until they are soft, at which point the dark red beans are pulverized into a dry paste.
Raw kidney beans contain relatively high amounts of phytohemagglutinin, and thus are more toxic than most other bean varieties if not pre-soaked and subsequently heated to the boiling point for at least 10 minutes. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature long enough to completely destroy the toxin. Cooking at the lower temperature of 80 °C (176 °F), such as in a slow cooker, can increase this danger and raise the toxin concentration up to fivefold. Canned red kidney beans, though, are safe to use immediately.
- "Recipe: Soup Brenebon". FAO.
- "Bad Bug Book (2012)" (pdf). Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook: Phytohaemagglutinin. Food and Drug Administration. 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
Consumers should boil the beans for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the product reaches sufficient temperature
- Phytohaemagglutinin. Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook, US Food and Drug Administration (2009)
- "Be Careful With Red Kidney Beans in The Slow Cooker". Mother Earth News.
- "Cooking safely with slow cookers and crock pots". foodsmart.govt.nz.
- "Raw Kidney Beans". Home Food Preservation (Penn State Extension).