Chinese Red Beans & Rice

Perfect protein for vegetarians, especially if you use brown rice! Most cultures have a version of beans and rice – I’m not sure this recipe is really Chinese, but it works and it’s popular with kids. Try to find the tiny red adzuki beans, or substitute mung beans or another small colorful variety – black beans will also work well. This is also a good recipe for leftover rice and beans, if you tend to cook beans and have them on hand, in which case it’s super quick. Add a green vegetable and you have a meal in approximately 30 m.


  • 2 c cooked beans (see note)
  • 1 c rice
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground white (or black) pepper to taste
  • 1 T light soy sauce


  1. Wash, soak, and begin to cook the rice according to the Basic Steamed Rice recipe.
  2. When the water level reaches the top of the rice, heat a wok over medium high heat, then add the oil until it shimmers.
  3. Explode the scallion and ginger just until fragrant, then add the cooked beans and stirfry until coated with oil.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce, and cook 1-2 m, until beans are heated through.
  5. Gently mix the beans into the rice, then allow the rice to finish cooking.


I have only recently mastered the art of cooking beans – up until a few months ago, I always preferred the texture and flavor of  canned ones. I recently discovered – with apologies to Kungfu Panda – that there really is a secret ingredient: patience! Now I usually cook the beans while making some other meal or when I know I’ll be home for a while, and that way I have a container of cooked beans handy for all sorts of last minute meals.

  1. Sort 1 c. dried beans (they sometimes have little rocks in with them!), then rinse them well and add 4 c of cool water. Allow the beans to soak at room temperature for 24-36 h, changing the water every 12 h.
  2. Drain the beans, place in a pot, add 4 c cold water, then bring to a boil.
  3. Immediately reduce to a simmer – a rapid boil will split the skins, cover loosely, and cook until soft and creamy all the way through. Undercooked beans will be grainy and have a whiter center. Do not add salt as it can toughen the skins and make cooking time even longer. Cooking time will vary greatly, from 1 – 2 h, sometimes more, depending on how long you soaked the beans, how old/dry they are, the hardness of your water, the phase of the moon….
  4. When your beans are done, remove them from the heat and allow them to come to room temperature in their cooking liquid. you can speed this process up by putting the pot into a larger pot or sink with ice water in it.
  5. Store in the refrigerator in their liquid, draining and rinsing only the amount you need for a recipe.

2 Responses

  1. […] with, the bag of frozen mixed veggies you always use (don’t lie). I got my inspiration from Tangstein’s Blog: Healthy Chinese Home Cooking, but I prefer to use black beans instead of red (because black beans already show up in a lot of […]

  2. All that you do, except you can put in a slow cooker or oven bake . At this point you can flavour then also . Have done this for fourty plus years

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