XO sauce is popular condiment in Hong Kong that is normally made with dried shrimp or scallops and ham. Instead of ham, this version uses mushrooms, which work because of the already-present deep umami flavor. That said, because there is minimal dried shrimp (which I didn’t use because I thought I had fish sauce :-\) and no ham, I’m not sure the recipe title is a fair assessment. Just don’t come after me with pitchforks in the way I might come after someone referring to a “watermelon cake” (nope) or “cauliflower steak” (hard pass). I didn’t name it! And, anyway, it’s still good.
Green beans are always a hit in our house but mushrooms…not so much. I keep trying with the kids because Tom an I are mushroom lovers but for the most part, they are not fans. That said, Ian did like the mushrooms in this, presumably because of the saltiness/soy sauce. The only other way he likes them is bathed in marsala. Tom and I both enjoyed this recipe in its entirety, of course.
I couldn’t find mushroom soy sauce, which is a bummer. I’m hoping I can get it before the next time we make this. If you’re using regular soy sauce, I definitely would recommend the low sodium variety. Even using that, this was still a bit salty, and you may need to add a little bit of water or additional rice vinegar if you are sensitive to salt.
Green Beans with Mushroom XO Sauce
- 2 lbs. green beans, divided
- 5 Tbsp. mushroom soy sauce or regular low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. black vinegar (Chinkiang)
- 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. canola or other neutral oil, divided
- 4 oz. maitake or king trumpet mushrooms, caps sliced and stalks coarsely chopped
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. dried shrimp or a splash of fish sauce*
- 4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced on a diagonal, divided
- 1 Tbsp. chili oil
- Cook 3/4 of the beans in a large pot of salted water for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender and still bright green. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Allow to cool completely, remove from the water and pat dry, and then trim the stems.
- Stir together mushroom soy sauce, black vinegar, rice vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Trim stems of remaining uncooked green beans. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook beans, tossing occasionally, until blistered in spots and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet and cook mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add brandy away from heat source. Return skillet to heat and tilt to ignite brandy. Once flames have subsided, add shallot, chile, garlic, dried shrimp/fish sauce*, half of scallions, and reserved XO sauce. Cook, tossing occasionally, just until aromatics have softened, about 3 minutes (there should still be some liquid in the pan). Add chili oil and all of the green beans and toss well to combine. Serve topped with remaining scallions.
- *I didn't realize until I started making this that I was out of fish sauce. It seemed just fine without it.