Not your Uncle Malcolm’s Haggis


Each year, we look forward to hosting a Burns Night with some good friends, and the highlight is always the haggis. Or at least, that’s what I like to think, since I’m the chef.

But this isn’t your traditional haggis, for we are vegetarian, and haggis is about the most non-vegetarian dish I can think of. Luckily, somewhere along the road, somebody got creative and this treat was born.

I posted the recipe a few years ago, but it was hidden in the body of a longer post, and it really deserves a bit of the spotlight. So, in preparation for this year’s event, I dug out my camera and took some photos of the work-in-progress. For the final product, you’ll have to check back tomorrow, when I’ll finish the wee beastie and show you what it looks like just before being devoured.



  1. For the group we have over, I double the quantities in the recipe below.
  2. I don’t cook with the fine single malt I like to drink, so please forgive the Famous Grouse. Cheers!

Assembling some of the ingredients

Yuba-Wrapped Vegetarian Haggis

From Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker (Robin Robertson, The Harvard Common Press, 2004)

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable stock or water
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 TBSP Scotch whisky (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp tamari or other soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 large sheet fresh or frozen yuba (bean curd skin), thawed if necessary
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stock, stir in the oats, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Mash or coarsely chop the kidney beans and stir into the oat mixture. Add the nuts, parsley, whisky (if using), tamari, thyme, nutmeg, and cayenne, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well to combine.
  3. The bean curd should be soft, not brittle. If it is brittle, soak in a shallow bowl of water for a few seconds to soften. Line a lightly oiled 4-quart slow cooker with the yuba and spoon the stuffing mixture inside. Fold the yuba sheet over onto the mixture to enclose it. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours.

NOTE from me – never having found yuba, I just make a soft pastry (like for samosas) and roll it as thinly as I can without worrying about it breaking. It’s easier to use if the filling is cold. I use that instead of the yuba, and bake the whole thing in the oven. (Try 400F for about an hour.) The pastry is then crispy, instead of soft, but we like the texture.


You mean I’m not just supposed to drink this?


All the ingredients added, ready to mix

Added the next day: And… the finished product!


Addressing the Haggis


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