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Feb 3, 2008 08:36 PM

HELP! Red Beans and Rice - Kidney Beans or Red Beans??


ok I thought I found a great recipe that calls for using dry kidney beans for red beans and rice.

but using dry kidney beans rather the regular dry red beans which are smaller. sounded odd to me and most other recipes seems to call for red beans.

I am not experienced in cooking this type of food. For those of you that are, take a look at the recipe and let me know.. will kidney beans be ok?

Thank You

Happy Mardi Gras

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  1. I make red beans and rice all the time, and generally use kidney beans- I always have them on hand, and they're easier for me to find. I've never had any trouble with them.

    Happy Mardi Gras to you, too! I'll be having a Mardi Gras Party this weekend (I know- it's late, but up here in NH, no one knows the difference, and I didn't want to conflict with the Pats big day... sigh). I'll be making jambalaya, gumbo z'herbes, red beans and rice with andouille sausage, and King Cake (Southern Living's recipe, with cream cheese filling).

    Good luck!

    1. Kidney beans would be fine if you are in a pinch, but they have such a strong flavor. I think the smaller red bean or pink bean are a better combination with all the rest of what goes in the dish. You have to be careful with what I say though, because I have never really liked kidney beans to start with.

      1. Kidney Beans!

        Red Beans
        Serves: 6

        "In all the ancient homes of New Orleans, and in the colleges and convents, where large numbers of children are sent to be reared to be strong and useful men and women, several times a week there appear on the table either the nicely cooked dish of Red Beans, which are eaten with rice, or the equally wholesome White Beans a la Crème, or Red or White beans boiled with a piece of salt pork or ham."
        -The Picayune Creole Cookbook 1900

        • 2 cups large dried kidney beans
        • 6 cups water
        • 4 strips bacon, cut into inch pieces
        • 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
        • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
        • ½ cup green onions, chopped
        • 4 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
        • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
        • 1 large smoked ham hock
        • 1 pound baked ham steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
        • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
        • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, ground
        • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
        • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
        • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
        • 1 teaspoon Tabasco ®
        • 2 bay leaves
        Note: To reduce cooking time soak beans overnight in 4 cups water or put 2 cups of beans in a pot, cover with 4 cups water, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes; remove from the heat, cover the pot and let stand for 1 hour.

        1. In a black cast iron pot, sauté the bacon until limp then add the onions, bell pepper, green onions, parsley and garlic.
        2. Cook until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.
        3. Add the beans, ham hock and ham to the pot and add enough water to make 6 cups.
        4. Stir.
        5. Add the seasonings and stir.
        6. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours or until beans become tender and have made a thick sauce.
        7. Stir to prevent scorching on bottom.
        8. Add additional water to keep beans covered.
        9. Serve over boiled rice with pickled onions.

        9 Replies
        1. re: speyerer

          thanks guys! i am feeling better now lol. and the beans are a cookin'
          i am excited.

          this calmed my doubts a bit also


          1. re: soulimar

            Not sure where you got the idea that the "red bean" used in New Orleans was anything other than the red kidney bean.

            Maybe the Caribbean influence led people to refer to them as such but the bean of choice for classic Red Beans and rice has always been the red kidney in the city although, in Cajun country, you'll often find white beans, sometimes white kidneys, with rice or as a necessary accompaniment to Jambalaya.
            The red bean of choice is Camellia Brand, always impeccably fresh at any supermarket in the city because the turnover is extraordinary. People in NOLA actually eat RB&R every week and have for generations.

            1. re: MakingSense

              very cool.. i got the idea because many recipes call for red beans not kidney beans.

              great tradition : )

              1. re: MakingSense

                What are White Kidneys, MS? Different from Navy beans?

                1. re: bbqboy

                  Navy beans are a small white--AKA pearl haricot, Boston bean, and pea bean--used for cassoulet and Boston baked beans. The cannellino or fagiola is a white kidney larger and fluffier textured than the Navy--used for tonno e fagioli.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Thanks Sam. That's what I thought, but I never realized the regionalism of beans. :)

                  2. re: bbqboy

                    There's a variety of white runner bean that's often used in Cajun country. It's an heirloom that likely was brought by German settlers to South Louisiana. Phaseolus coccineus. Starchier than cannellini and much closer to the red kidneys that are used for Red Beans and Rice. Cannellini make a decent substitute though.
                    There are 1000s and 1000s of bean varieties, often called "peas" in the South. Everybody has - and grows - their own favorites.

                2. re: soulimar

                  I think that red/pink beans are substituted for kidneys because some of the latter are too large and mealy. Perhaps there is a 'small' kidney bean variety traditionally used?

                  As Wikipedia suggests, there is naming confusion. The regular 'red' beans in local stores look kidney shaped to me, not so some of the central american varieties recently arrived.

                  In every soul food & Cajun place that I've eaten the beans are small.

                  1. re: DiveFan

                    This is the Camellia Red Kidney Bean, the traditional Red Bean of choice for most people in New Orleans. They are piled high in all the supermarkets. It is pretty large and "mealy" if you want to use that word. Most of us think that quality makes the liquid "creamy."
                    Other people may use something else outside of the State of Louisiana. If they wonder why their Red Beans and Rice aren't like the one they ate in NOLA, maybe they're using the wrong kind of beans!

              2. I have never seen any red bean other than kidney beans. Where have you found such?
                I live in a fairly Hispanic neighborhood, and I thought we had every kind of dried bean extant on our grocery shelves!

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune

                  Azuki beans. Very common in Chinese and Japanese cuisine (esp. desserts).


                  1. re: ChefJune

                    There are hundreds of red bean varieties (all Phaseolus vulgaris). Colombians insist on a large roundish red. The red kidney bean itself comes in many varieties, ranging from dark pink to maroon.

                  2. I use red kidney beans. I've never looked for the actual red beans that are traditional. From what I've read the difference is negligable.

                    Kidney beans are so easy to find.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Davwud

                      everything turned out great! props to lots of good knowledge there.
                      here's my food pics

                      1. re: soulimar

                        Nice feast. All looks too good.
                        Someone posted K Paul's crawfish etouffee recipe on here and it's the one I use. It's awesome.