Instant Pot Mayocoba Beans. A pot of dry mayocoba beans, cooked in about an hour thanks to my pressure cooker.
Reader Pat asked me about Mayocoba beans, and I didn’t have a good answer. These pretty yellow beans are a regular in my Rancho Gordo bean box, and I’ve cooked them a few times, but I never took notes. It’s time to fix that. Here’s how I cook mayocoba beans!
What are mayocoba beans?
Mayocoba beans, also known as Mexican yellow beans, Canary beans, or Peruvian (Peruano) beans, are used throughout Peru and Mexico, especially the Mexican state of Jalisco. They are delicious as a pot of beans in broth, and make creamy refried beans (like I do here: Instant Pot Refried Mayocoba Beans.)
They are a pale yellow color, but it fades during cooking, and they wind up looking like a regular pot of white beans. They still taste great, but they’re not quite as eye catching as the uncooked beans.
This recipe is the mayocoba bean version of my basic pressure cooker bean technique. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll have seen it before (in my Instant Pot pinto beans, Pressure Cooker black beans, and many others.)
- Dry Mayocoba beans
- Fine sea salt
- Baking Soda
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Instant Pot Mayocoba Beans
- Sort and rinse a pound of dry mayocoba beans (no soaking necessary)
- Put the beans in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker with 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, a peeled and halved onion, and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Stir in 6 cups of water.
- Pressure Cook for 40 minutes with a Quick Release of pressure
- Serve as is, or simmer for 20 minutes to thicken the broth.
Mayocoba beans are also known as Mexican yellow beans, Peruvian beans, Peruano beans, or Canary beans.
Don't have an onion? Use a couple of cloves of unpeeled garlic, or skip it.
The baking soda helps keep the beans tender in case of hard water. (Hard water is acidic, and baking soda helps counter that.)
Don’t have oregano? Use a bay leaf, and discard the bay leaf after cooking. Or, skip the herbs. They add a nice note of flavor, but it’s not necessary - these beans have big flavor to begin with.
A 6-quart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the reasons I became a pressure cooker convert. Try them - you’ll never go back to canned beans. (OK, maybe you will, for convenience - but see the Storage section for tips on make ahead freezer beans.)
This recipe scales down easily - cut everything in half if you don’t need as many beans, or have a 3-quart pressure cooker. Scaling up runs into space issues; if you have an 8-quart pressure cooker, you can double this recipe, but it’s too much to fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker.
🤨 Soaking Mayocoba beans?
I get the “to soak or not to soak?” question all the the time. I don’t soak my mayocoba beans in this basic recipe. They don’t need an overnight soak, and cook to tenderness with 40 minutes at high pressure.
That doesn’t mean you can’t soak the beans. They turn out fine, though the bean broth isn’t quite as full bodied. Soaked beans cook much quicker, 20 minutes at high pressure. I use that when I’m cooking the beans with other ingredients, where the shorter cooking time keeps me from overcooking the whole dish just to get the beans tender.
Beans are an agricultural product, and stuff tends to creep in when they are processed. Beans should always be sorted and rinsed before using, to get rid of any twigs, stones, clumps of dirt, or broken beans.
To sort the beans, I pour them out on one side of a rimmed baking sheet (a half-sheet pan), to keep the beans from escaping. Then I slowly run my fingers through the pile of beans, pulling them towards me on the sheet. I watch the beans as they move, looking for anything that doesn't seem right. If I see something, I poke around in the beans until I find what caught my eye, and discard it. I repeat this a couple of times, until I'm satisfied everything is out of the beans.
Then I dump the beans into a fine mesh strainer and rinse them under cold running water, to wash off any dirt or dust still on the beans.
Now the beans are sorted, rinsed, and ready for soaking or cooking.
💡Tips and Tricks
- Quick release the pressure for beans. The sudden drop in pressure throws the water into a boil, which roughs up the beans, releasing starch and thickening the pot liquid.
- Salt your bean water! “Salt toughens beans” is a myth. Salting before cooking helps season the beans all the way through as they cook.
- If your beans are still tough when the cooking time is over, especially any “floaters” at the top of the pot, give the beans a stir, lock the lid, and pressure cook for another five minutes. Older beans take longer to cook, and if the beans have been sitting in the shelf at your store for a while, they may need extra time.
- Simmer to thicken: If you have the time, and want thicker bean liquid, simmer the beans for 20 minutes after pressure cooking. I set my Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to low, set the timer to 20 minutes, and leave the lid off to let the broth evaporate.
Instant Pot Mayocoba Beans. A pot of beans, ready in about an hour thanks to my pressure cooker.
- 1 pound Mayocoba beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- 1 small to medium onion, peeled and halved
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Cilantro for garnish (Optional)
- Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the mayocoba beans, removing any broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Put the beans in a strainer and rinse under running water.
- Everything in the pot: Put the rinsed beans in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker pot. Pour in the 6 cups of water, then stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, onion halves, and dried oregano.
- Pressure cook the beans for 40 minutes with a quick pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric pressure cooker or 35 minutes in a stovetop PC. (In an Instant Pot, use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode set for 40 minutes). Quick release the pressure in the pot.
- Serve: Remove the pressure cooker lid – open it away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Discard the onion. Ladle the beans into bowls and serve, or store for later.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Instant Pot Mayocoba Beans, Pressure Cooker Mayocoba Beans
A 2-cup container of cooked mayocoba beans, with cooking liquid, replaces a 15-ounce can of beans from the grocery store. They’ll last in the refrigerator for a few days, and freeze for up to 6 months. I always make extra beans, and freeze the leftovers for use in other recipes. Freezer beans are ready to use with about 5 minutes in the microwave, and are so much better than canned.
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