The first hotdish that ever spoke to me was Chinese hotdish, which I found in one of my mother-in-law's church cookbooks. Being Chinese, I knew I had to try it out and recreate it with my own spin. The Chinese hotdishes that I've found in church cookbooks typically consist of ground beef, water chestnuts, rice, canned creamed soup and crispy lo mein noodles on top. My version leans into some of the Chinese ingredients that I've grown up enjoying, with snappy sweet Chinese sausage, black bean garlic sauce which makes the binder explode with flavor, loads of scallions and ginger and rice that takes on a sticky rice texture that makes the whole thing irresistible.
Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot to 350 degrees F over medium-high heat.
Fry the wonton strips in batches for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Set aside.
In an 8-cup liquid measuring cup or large mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, sesame oil, sambal oelek, black bean garlic sauce and cornstarch. Add the chicken stock and whisk to incorporate. Set aside.
In a 3-quart braiser (low-sided Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until some of the fat is rendered and the edges are dark (there is a lot of sugar in Chinese sausage, so be careful not to burn it), about 2 minutes. Add the pork and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the pork is no longer pink and the liquid is evaporated. Add the scallion whites, ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Deglaze with cooking wine (or stock) and cook until the pan is dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and green beans and cook until the cabbage is wilted, translucent and has some browned bits, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and rice and stir to combine.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the sauce is reduced and the hotdish is bubbling. Remove from the oven. Garnish with the fried wonton strips, scallion greens and a drizzle of chili oil. Serve immediately.
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