Red dragon pie for Veganuary

Azduki or aduki red beans

Red dragon pie is one of my all time favourite savoury meals. I copied the recipe into my recipe notebook when I left home back in the early/mid 1990s, borrowing this dish from my mum. [Update: Apparently my sister got it from a vegan friend c.1991. Some people online say it was in the Vegetarian Kitchen cookbook by Sarah Brown, or it could have been one of her other vegetarian cookbooks from the 1980s.]

It’s very simple and I used to make it when I was at uni, and it went down well with omnivores. So whether you’re trying Veganuary this year, already have a plant-based diet, or just want a different warming hearty dish, try this.

It’s good in winter as the chilli will give you a bit of heat! I believe it’s called red dragon due to the aduki* beans, which originate in China. You can also have a fiery dragon from the chilli.

It’s a fairly flexible recipe so you can vary how you have the potatoes on the top, and also swap vegetables in/out and alter how much chilli you include. Some people use leeks, root vegetables and mushrooms in it.

Red Dragon Pie
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 clove garlic – diced
  • vegetable oil
  • 1-2 carrots – diced
  • 14 oz tin cooked aduki beans (1 tin – 400g; for dried, use about 4oz/100g and soak overnight then cook for up to 1 hour)
  • 1 ½ oz [cooked weight] rice (40g)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder [or more if you like it fiery], or a chopped fresh chilli or dried chillies
  • 1/3 pint stock (about 190ml)
  • 5 small/medium potatoes
  • vegan milk and oil for mashing with the potatoes
  • vegan cheese grated (optional)

1. Pre-cook the rice.
2. Dice and fry the onion and garlic in a little oil in a saucepan.
3. Dice the carrot and add. Cook 3 mins.
4. If you’re using dried aduki beans make sure you have soaked them overnight and them cooked them for 40+ mins. Or use a tin of aduki beans. Add the cooked beans to the pan.
5. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the rice but not the potatoes) and simmer for 20+ mins.
6. Boil and then mash the potatoes. (Or, slice potatoes into thick circles, and par boil for 5 mins for potato slices).
7. Put the saucy bean mix in a deep ovenproof dish, put the mashed potato on top (or layer rings of potato), top with grated vegan cheese, and bake for about 20 mins at about 180C until it is going brown on top.

Serves about 4 people as a main dish. You can serve with a side vegetable or salad, and chunks of bread if you want. If you serve it with leeks on St David’s Day you can pretend the dragon is the Welsh dragon.

*I’ve used the common British English spelling, although the correct transliteration from the Japanese is adzuki. Aduki beans are really good for you.

Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

(Header image of aduki beans from Matt Hetto on Pixabay)

2 thoughts on “Red dragon pie for Veganuary

  1. Red dragon pie has always been a staple of mine. Also from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen, Gado Gado sauce is lovely served with roasted veg.


    1. Thanks Lesley, and for confirming origin of the recipe! I have a gado gado sauce recipe but have only done it a couple of times. Perhaps time for me to re-visit some recipes!


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