When my skin is hungry for sunshine and my ears are craving that island lilt and sing and my bones long for home, only certain things satisfy. Some of those things can be purchased at inflated cost…(yes, $2.99/lb guavas, I’m looking at you). Others are a little more accessible. This Red Bean Rundown fits into the latter category.
Traditional rundown combines fish with coconut milk, tomatoes, and seasonings. My vegan version uses high-protein, high-iron kidney beans, featuring seaweed, for that oceany, salty flavour. I used wakame, which has a bit of a shredded look, cooks quickly, and blends into the overall dish well. This dish uses kidney beans, but I’ve also tried black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and pigeon peas, all with success. I imagine most sturdy beans you like would do quite well.
The trick here is to cook down the coconut milk until it’s deliciously creamy and thick. Even more deliciously creamy and thick than it is before you simmer it down lovingly. Then add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer some more. In a perfect world, I’d have served this with Caribbean sweet potato and some boiled green bananas. However, I had to settle for a non-Caribbean white sweet potato. Pick a root veg and enjoy!
Red Bean Rundown
1 can of coconut milk (full fat only; don’t bother with low fat versions)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups kidney beans, cooked and drained
1-2 sprigs of thyme
2 Tbsp wakame (dried seaweed; check stores with Japanese products)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Hot pepper/hot sauce, to taste
- Pour the coconut milk into a medium pot. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce heat a little and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes. The coconut milk should be rich and thick.
- Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, beans, and thyme. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables have cooked.
- Season to taste, and add wakame, then simmer another 3-5 minutes, until seaweed has cooked.
- Serve with boiled root veggies and greens, and enjoy!