Asian Green Bean-Shiitake Casserole

Asian Green Bean-Shiitake Casserole

Many remember that green bean casserole from the 1950s
made with frozen green beans, canned mushroom soup and fried onions.
This updated version—with fresh beans, water chestnuts, scallions, bell
peppers and a panko-toasted sesame crust—has a bright Asian flavor.

See other related recipes in Thanksgiving Classics with Foreign Accents.

Yield: 8 pounds or 24 (5.3-ounce) portions
Preparation
time:
50 minutes + 30 minutes baking time
Shelf life: best in 2 days

Ingredients

3 pounds green beans
2
ounces canola oil + 1 ounce for topping
2 ounces dark sesame oil + 1
ounce for topping
6 ounces sliced scallions, including green parts + 2 ounces thinly sliced scallions, for topping
1 ounce minced fresh
garlic
2 ounces minced fresh gingerroot
1¼ pounds sliced shiitake
mushrooms
6 ounces medium sherry
¼ cup cornstarch
1 quart
vegetable or chicken stock
1 ounce soy sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne
pepper (optional)
2 (8-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
6 ounces red bell pepper, finely chopped
2½ ounces panko
2 ounces
sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Method

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove tips from green beans. Add to water and blanch until bright green and just tender,
about 6 minutes; drain, shock in ice water and pat dry. 

2. Heat 2 ounces of canola and sesame oils in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 6 ounces of scallions, garlic and ginger, and sauté until
just fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. 

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

4. In a small bowl, whisk sherry and cornstarch together. Add stock
and soy sauce and pour over mushrooms; boil until liquid thickens, about 4 minutes. Add cayenne. Turn off heat. Stir in beans, water chestnuts
and red peppers and scrape into a deep half-sheet pan. 

5.
Heat remaining canola and sesame oils in a skillet over medium heat.
Stir in remaining scallions and sauté until lightly browned and tender,
about 3 minutes.

6. Combine panko, sesame seeds, salt and
pepper in a bowl, add them to the scallions and cook over medium-low
heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle
over green beans and bake for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.
Remove.

Nutritional Data (per 5.3-ounce serving): Calories:
160; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 230 mg; Fat: 7 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Ingredient Cost Sheet

Ingredients Cost
3 pounds green beans  $2.68-4.47
2 ounces canola + 1 ounce for topping  $.47-.78
2 ounces dark sesame oil + 1 ounce for topping  $.86-1.45
6 ounces sliced scallions, including green parts + 2 ounces thinly sliced scallions, for topping  $.83-1.38
1 ounce minced fresh garlic  $.15-.25
2 ounces minced fresh gingerroot  $.29-.48
1 1/4 pounds sliced shiitake mushrooms  $5.24-8.79
6 ounces medium sherry  $1.35-2.25
1/4 cup cornstarch  
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock  $1.79-2.99
1 ounce soy sauce  $.20-.33
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)  $1.79-2.98
2 (8-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts (10 ounces), drained   $1.79-2.98
6 ounces finely chopped red bell pepper  $1.60-2.66
1 1/2 ounces panko  $.50-.83
2 ounces sesame seeds  $.15-.25
1 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper  

Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine.