Red braised mushrooms

Maria Elia showcases fresh speciality mushrooms in this aromatic oriental treat ideal for vegetarians
By Maria Elia
Red braised mushrooms
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus marinating time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pickled mushrooms

  • 100 g enoki mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

For the braising liquor

  • 180 ml shaoxing wine
  • 120 ml light soy sauce
  • 150 g yellow rock sugar
  • 2 strips dried orange peel, or dried mandarin peel
  • 2 cm ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, slit lengthways
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 stick cassia bark

For the braised mushrooms

  • 400 g mixed Japanese mushrooms
  • 5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 banana shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch coriander, finely chopped

To serve

  • boiled rice

Tips and Suggestions

Yellow rock sugar (also known as rock candy) is an off-white form of sugar normally used in Chinese cooking. If you can't find it at the supermarket, try Asian foodstores instead.

Method

1. For the pickled mushrooms: trim the bases from the enoki and separate them. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large frying pan and cook the enoki and chilli together over a medium heat until the mushrooms have softened. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl and set aside to cool.

2. Add the remaining pickling ingredients to the pan and heat them through. Pour the mixture over the mushrooms and leave to infuse for at least 20 minutes, and preferably overnight. Once cooled, store the mushrooms covered in the refrigerator and remove them some time before serving so that they can reach room temperature.

3. For the braising liquor: place all the ingredients in a saucepan with 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids, and set the liquor aside.

4. For the braised mushrooms: clean and trim your mixed mushrooms as necessary. Shiitakes should be de-stemmed and quartered; larger oyster mushrooms torn gently in two; shimejis gently broken from their clumped base.

5. Heat the sesame oil in a wok and, once hot, add the garlic, shallots, ginger and chilli. Stir-fry for a minute or so. Add the mushrooms, stir briefly, then pour in just enough of the braising liquor to cover them. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

6. Scatter the coriander over the braised mushrooms and serve them with rice, pouring just a little of the braising liquor over each dish. Enjoy with a spoonful of your room-temperature pickled mushrooms.

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