Vegan Baked Beans a la Daehan Meenguk

Daehan Meenguk is the official name of the Republic of South Korea. This is where I live.

Tonight I was craving some really gooey, saucy baked beans, preferably smothered in maple syrup (proudly Canadian.) However, some ingredients are really hard to get on this small but beautiful island. If you don’t know where I live you can read all about it in the About page. I also used my last bottle of ketchup the night before and I made sort of a half-pledge that I will try not to use bottled sauces any more (who knows what’s in them, especially when the label is in a foreign language!) So here it is. My version of baked beans-Korea style.


2 cups cooked pinto beans (I cook mine in a pressure cooker with 2 bay leaves, a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds, and a cubic inch of dashi seaweed to reduce the gas factor of the beans of the beans)

3 medium size chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (such a rarity in these parts but I splurged and got some!)

1 tsp of blackstrap molasses for the sweet smoky flavour

2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (also to reduce gas)

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp cumin

Salt to taste (or you can use soy sauce)

Lots of black pepper

And here is the twist: I used Korean hot red pepper paste. It is called gochujang (고주장). It is widely used in Korean cooking. Gochujang is fermented and is super spicy, so be careful when you’re using it.  It also contains some soy, so if you’re trying to cut out soy products it might not be the best choice. I am trying to stay away from inorganic soy but I cannot resist the flavour of gochujang. I used about a tablespoon because I prefer my beans on the spicy side. Even though one tablespoon doesn’t seem like a lot for two cups of beans, it is very flavourful, so don’t overdo it. If you live in any fairly international community, you will be able to get gochujang at your Asian supermarket.
Here’s a link with explanations and pictures


  1. Pour off the bean liquid (again, to reduce gas).
  2. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients with a wooden spoon so the beans don’t get too mashed.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. I used a round cake dish to reduce corner burns.
  4. Bake the bean mixture for as little as 30 minutes to as long as 2 hours. Depends on how soft you like the beans. I baked mine for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with some chopped cilantro or parsley. I had mine with a bit of quinoa for added protein.

Beans and quinoa are really high in protein. Both contain carbohydrates as well. Pinto beans are also rich in minerals such as folate, potassium, and magnesium. The result of eating these two things together: a low-fat, high protein intake as well as a complex carbohydrate to keep you feeling full longer.

My non-vegan boyfriend Chris really enjoyed the meal. He took it for lunch the next day and said he preferred the dish warm, not cold.

Enjoy your vegan meal!

Love and light,


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