By Shanshan Mei, my dear friend, co-producer of many Frisch Kitchen videos, co-conspirer in the kitchen, and master photographer and social media guru behind Hamptons Lane.
I was so excited when I learned from Emma that this week’s #5days5ways ingredient was shiitake mushroom. I am Chinese and grew up eating this variety of mushrooms almost on a daily basis. We call it “Fragrant Mushroom” for its unforgettably unique, earthy scent and flavor, and it’s one of the go-to mushrooms in the Chinese farmer’s markets (the other two are oyster mushroom and enoki mushroom).
So I emailed Emma, asking whether I could contribute a perfect summertime shiitake mushroom recipe for the week. In her absolutely lively and enthusiastic voice, she said “YES!”
What’s so great about this recipe is that it preserves the maximum nutrients of each ingredient. By quickly blanching the baby bok choy and then running them through cold water, you soften the fibers for better digestion while maintaining all of the essential vitamins. By sautéing the shiitake mushroom, you release their protein, B vitamins and minerals (check here to learn why you shouldn’t eat mushrooms raw). Finally the simple dressing completes the salad with a salty, umami flavor that will totally satisfy your appetite.
Simply speaking, this is an easy, tasty and nutrient-packed summertime dish you don’t want to miss out on!
- 2 heads baby bok choy
- 4 ears shitakii mushroom (if you can find smaller ones, use 6~8 of them)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic
- Cut baby bok choy lengthwise, thoroughly rinse them under running water to remove any sand in the roots.
- Snip the stems from the mushrooms.
- Cut the mushroom in half or quarters (you choose, as long as you end up with uniform pieces).
- Mince one clove of garlic.
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil.
- Place the baby bok choy in the boiling water for 1 minute, and then immediately transfer it to a colander with tongs or a slotted spoon, and hold the bok choy under running water for 15 seconds to stop the cooking process. Drain the water.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water to form a “slurry.”
- In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high.
- Add the mushrooms, toss and coat in oil and sauté for about 2 minutes (until the mushrooms are tender and shriveled in size).
- Arrange the mushrooms and baby bok choy on a plate, artistically if you like!
- In the same skillet, over medium high heat, add oyster sauce and a splash of cold water. Use a spatula to stir a few times so the oyster sauce and water are fully mixed together.
- Before the sauce starts to bubble, add the minced garlic and sugar. At this point, you can taste the sauce to see if you’d like more sugar or a pinch of salt.
- When the sauce begins to bubble, turn off the heat. Drizzle the cornstarch “slurry” into the sauce and use a spatula to incorporate. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Pour the sauce over the Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms and serve.