oyster mushrooms

by isaac black

I bought a carton of oyster mushrooms for a Souper Bowl that a friend organized last Sunday–I made Tom Kha Hed based on this recipe. I have made it a couple of times, once for a friend’s birthday. It got really good reviews at the birthday (I also made some spring rolls with sauteed shiitake, cashews, red bell pepper, and cilantro with a peanut sauce in a rice paper wrapper). I didn’t follow this recipe exactly–I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and substituted the oyster mushrooms. I also didn’t reduce the broth as much as she recommends. For the birthday, I smashed up several chili peppers and ended up making the soup pretty spicy. I got timid this last time around and didn’t use as many peppers, and I wish it had been spicier. 

Anyway, I accidentally made something delicious tonight while trying to use up the rest of my mushrooms. I sauteed minced garlic and sliced chili peppers in sesame and canola oils. Then I turned the heat to high and threw in sliced carrot and mushrooms. Then I added a splash of vegetarian fish sauce and black rice wine and a little bit of soy sauce. At the end, I stirred in chopped cilantro. It was simple, just what I had on hand, but it was delicious. The mushrooms absorbed all of the flavor of the sauces and the heat from the pepper-infused oil. Going to make some similar stir-fries in the future.