The inspiration for this recipe came from the new Vice Munchies cookbook, Munchies Guide to Dinner. It features a blistered green bean recipe with Doubanjiang, a spicy fermented Chinese condiment with incredibly complex flavor. I transformed these two basic ingredients into a casserole that will be an absolute hit at the Friendsgiving Table!
This Green Bean Casserole has all the elements of the classic, except its base is an umami-rich mushroom roux amped up with Doubanjiang. The spice level varies between Doubanjiang brands, so adjust the amount accordingly, starting with 2 tablespoons and adding more to taste. Most of these ingredients you’ll find at an Asian market (and at better prices too), especially the Dried Shiitake and Chinese Long Green Beans. But fresh mushrooms and regular green beans will work just fine.
And if you don’t want to fry the garlic and shallots yourself (I totally understand), you can use 1 1/2 cups store-bought fried shallots. However, if you do decide to take the looong homemade fried toppings route, buy the garlic cloves and shallots pre-peeled if you can!
~*~ DOUBANJIANG GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE ~*~
SERVES: 8 to 10 ⎪ DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE | FUNK: MODERATE
Mise en Place
For the Fried Toppings:
20 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups canola oil, for frying
For the Casserole:
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 pounds Chinese long green beans, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons doubanjiang
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removes and caps sliced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups mushroom liquid (from rehydrated mushrooms), chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Playlist — Marvin Gaye
1. FRY THE GARLIC & SHALLOTS
Heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. First, add the garlic. Stir occasionally until lightly browned. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Next, add the shallots. Stir occasionally until lightly browned. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Set aside until ready to assemble the casserole.
2. REHYDRATE THE MUSHROOMS
Place dried shiitake mushrooms in a heatproof bowl or measuring cup. Cover with 2 cups warm water and let soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and thinly slice mushrooms. Reserve mushroom liquid for the casserole.
4. BLANCH THE GREEN BEANS
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have an ice bath nearby. Once boiling, generously salt the water and add the green beans. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly tender and bright green. Strain the green beans then immediately transfer beans to the ice bath. When beans are chilled, drain and set aside.
5. COOK THE MUSHROOMS
In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the doubanjiang and stir until fragrant. Add the sliced fresh and rehydrated mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and brown.
6. MAKE THE ROUX
Add the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms. Add the reserved mushroom liquid and milk. Simmer and stir over medium heat until the sauce is thick and creamy. Remove from heat and add the rice wine vinegar. Add more salt, vinegar, and doubanjiang to taste.
7. BAKE THE CASSEROLE
Stir in the green beans and transfer to a greased baking dish. Top with fried garlic and shallots. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Serve immediately.
~*~ VEGAN VARIATION ~*~
In Step 6, use 1 (14-ounce can) full-fat coconut milk instead of whole milk.
~*~ GLUTEN FREE VARIATION ~*~
In Step 6, use 2 tablespoons cornstarch instead of flour.
How would you use Doubanjiang? Let me know what you’ve cooked and leave a comment below.