With a lot of people stocked up on dried beans, we’ve been working on a number of recipes to put a batch o’ beans to good use. Of course, nicely cooked beans are delicious on their own with a drizzle of peppery olive oil and a hunk of crusty bread for dipping. But with every day feeling just like the last right now, introducing some variety at meal times without creating a ton of extra prep work in the kitchen feels more important than ever. Enter, mapo tofu-style white beans.
A quick-cooking riff on mapo tofu that’s perfect for using up cannellini from a big batch of cooked dry beans.
- Serves 2 to 3
- 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil, divided
- 4 ounces (115g) ground pork or beef
- 1 tablespoon (17g) doubanjiang (Chinese fermented broad bean-chili paste; see note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (2g) finely ground dried Chinese chilies (see note)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, finely grated or minced (about 2 teaspoons; 10g)
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated or minced (about 2 teaspoons; 12g)
- 4 scallions or 12 ramps (about 2 ounces; 55g), white and green parts separated and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup (180ml) water
- 2 cups (565g) cooked dry white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern) with cooking liquid (see note)
- 1 teaspoon (2g) Sichuan peppercorns, finely ground (see note)
In a large saucepan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or wok spatula, until meat is cooked through and just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a small bowl or plate and set aside.
Lower heat to medium, add remaining 3 tablespoons (45ml) oil to now-empty saucepan or wok, and heat until shimmering. Add doubanjiang and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add ground chilies and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is aromatic and chilies have stained the oil dark red, about 30 seconds. Transfer 2 tablespoons (30ml) chili-oil mixture to a small heatproof ramekin or bowl and set aside.
Add garlic, ginger, and scallion or ramp whites and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in water, beans and their cooking liquid, and cooked meat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a steady but gentle simmer and cook until mixture is thickened slightly and heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add scallion or ramp greens, stir to incorporate, and cook until just softened, about 30 seconds.
Divide stew between individual serving bowls, sprinkle with ground Sichuan peppercorns, and serve, passing reserved chili oil for drizzling at the table.