Beans and Greens Stew With Doenjang

Beans and Greens Stew With Doenjang

In this deeply comforting stew, the hardest part is washing and chopping the greens, which is to say, not very hard. Earthy-sweet Swiss chard, especially rainbow chard, tastes beautiful here, but coarsely chopped spinach, kale, mustard or radish greens, napa cabbage or broccoli rabe would be lovely, too. Canned cannellini beans, crushed lightly with a wooden spoon, thicken the gentle, savory broth. The key to this dish lies in how you layer each ingredient into the pot: The onion and scallions are first browned to start an umami-rich base; the Korean fermented soybean paste, doenjang (see Tip), is bloomed in oil to awaken its deep, salty funkiness; and then the honey is caramelized slightly for sweetness and floral complexity. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium and add 2 tablespoons oil, the onion and scallions. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining tablespoon oil and the doenjang, and stir until heated through and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Move the onion mixture to one side of the pot, add the honey and red-pepper flakes to the empty side, and let the honey bubble and caramelize, about 1 minute.
  3. Step 3

    Add the beans and stir to coat. Add the soy sauce and 2 cups water, raise the heat to high, and bring to a gentle boil, using the wooden spoon to crush some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the broth.
  4. Step 4

    Stir in the chard, cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering until the greens have cooked down and darkened in color, about 10 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Off the heat, stir in the grated garlic. Taste and add more salt, pepper and doenjang as desired. Serve in large bowls over or alongside rice.