Kuwanoki mame (mulberry bean)

This is a family of kidney bean cultivated in Yamagata City. This area used to thrive with silkworm culture, and thus mulberry was cultivated extensively. The bean seeds were sown around the roots of mulberry trees so that plants would grow along the tree trunks, and therefore they came to be called “kuwanoki mame,” or mulberry beans. When the plant fully ripens, the beans and shells come to show a red splashed pattern. After dried for preservation, they can be soaked in water for reconstitution and then cooked in shells, which is a rare feature among pulse crops.
○ Main cultivation area
Yamagata City (former Miyama Town)
○ Harvest period

Read the recipe

Shops where you can eat treats, shops you can buy

Fureai Bazaar
Funakoshi, Yamagata City

Address416-13 Funakoshi, Yamagata City[Map
Phone Number0581-53-2125
Opening Hour10:00~14:00 (Orders stop as soon as materials run out)
HolidayMondays, Third Sunday
Parking Capacity40 cars
Access Approx. 20 minutes by car from Tokai-Kanjo Expressway"Yamagata IC"or "Seki-Hiromi IC"
Get off at "Kashiwabara" bus stop
"Kuwachan Set Meal" with deep-fried dishes and mixed boiled rice.
Fureai Bazaar is an eatery located next to the farmers market in the Miyama area of Yamagata City. Kuwanoki mame used in "Kuwachan set meal" is boiled first before frying, so care and skill are needed to deep-fry it without bursting it in the process.
Service periodAll year round
Please call us to confirm.
<Messages from the Staff> We offer seasonally various dishes using local vegetables. We welcome you.

Bistro Sanglier Kyusuke
Takatomi, Yamagata City

Address2418-1 Takatomi, Yamagata City[Map
Phone Number0581-32-9508
Opening Hour11:00~13:30(LO.)/18:00~21:30(LO.)
HolidaySundays (Irregular holidays on Saturdays)
Parking CapacityPlease use the share parking space. 15 cars
Access Approx. 5 minutes walk from Yamagata City Her Bus "Yamagata Keisatusho-mae" bus stop
The Chef's recommendation, "Kuwanoki mame and chicken pot" made using large beans and local chicken.
We created a pot of fluffily, well-shaped Kuwanoki mane beans and local Okumino chicken. As red pepper is added to provide spicy taste, it is served as a sake relish or to increase your appetite for regular meals. This is our signature dish using local ingredients.
Service periodFrom early December to late January
Please call us to confirm.
<Messages from the Staff> We serve Western-style food using local fresh ingredients.
Kuwanoki mame-ni (Boiled mulberry beans) recipe
Ingredients :

(serves 3)

・30 to 40 pods Kuwanoki mame (fresh) Note: If using dried ones, rehydrate them prior to cooking

・1 tablespoon soy sauce

・about 1.5 tbsp sugar

・as needed water


① Line up the (fresh) kuwanoki mame in a pot. (Lining them up in one direction makes it harder for them to fall apart while cooking)

② Add enough water to cover the kuwanoki mame and boil them slowly on low heat for about an hour until they soften.

③Insert a toothpick into a bean to check it. If it’s soft, add the soy sauce and sugar to the pot. Keep simmering the beans. When the liquids have boiled down, they’re ready.

Source/Photo Credit: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, “Our Local Cuisine”