Braised Shiitake Mushrooms

Dried shiitake mushrooms… These guys are very versatile and carry a much different flavor than their fresh counterpart. According to Wikipedia, the sun-drying process draws out the umami flavor by breaking down proteins into amino acids. You learn something new everyday. All this time, I thought that my mom would buy the dried ones because they were cheaper than the fresh. Silly me.
I use the rehydrated mushrooms in so many ways. I boil them in soup stock, chop them up for vegetarian pot sticker filling or, as shown above, braised as a main course. Here I simply braised the shiitakes in their own soaking liquid, with chopped garlic, ginger and oyster sauce. After my mushrooms soften, I thicken up the sauce with a cornstarch slurry. I served it with wilted spinach and a bed of brown rice to soak up the lovely gravy.

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms
10 dried shiitakes mushrooms, rehydrated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbl oyster sauce (I have also used the vegetarian version with great results)

2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water

Cut the stems off the rehydrated mushrooms, and slice each one in half (they cook quicker this way). Place the mushrooms along with their soaking liquid and the next three ingredients into a medium sauce pan. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. While all this is happening, I usually work on my vegetables or start doing some dishes. I'm learning to clean as I go, since usually when I'm done cooking it looks like a tornado has hit the kitchen. :) Once your mushrooms are ready, mix the cornstarch with the water and add it to the mushrooms. It should start thickening up right away. Garnish with chopped scallions and a few drops of sesame oil/seeds. Serves 2 generously.


  • canarygirl

    22 May 2007 04:05 am

    Oh, my….that looks just fabulous!  Beautifully styled and shot, too! 😀

  • Yeehaw Murghi

    23 May 2007 02:05 pm

    Beautiful. Don’t think I’ve ever cooked with dried shiitakes before. Very inspirational! 

  • Misallaneous

    23 May 2007 02:05 pm

    i was away for only 10 days and you’ve made these delectable delights w/out me!!!  i can’t wait to try this one – since i have the ingredients, maybe JUST maybe i’ll try it on my own.  definitely won’t look as good as this TOWER though.

  • julie

    23 May 2007 02:05 pm

    Yeah! I’m so glad you’re back. Finally, someone to watch Happy Feet with!


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