Friday, December 31, 2010

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce (Happy New Year)


Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce01

I easily associate this braised shiitake mushrooms with all traditional Chinese festivals, like Winter Solstice (冬至), Chinese New Year’s Eve, as my mum used to cook it on these occasions. During my childhood, when I saw this dish served on our dinner table, I’d feel that we’re enjoying a luxury meal simply because mushrooms were quite pricey at that time. Although big and best quality shiitake mushrooms are still very expensive now, we can get smaller ones with good quality at much cheaper price for substitute. We are quite satisfied with their texture and taste.

My mum’s braised mushrooms are the family’s most favourite. Her braised mushrooms were incredibly velvety and shiny. The simple trick she used is to add a little block of rock sugar, about thumb size. On a side note, she won’t compromise in using second grade oyster sauce whenever she cooks this dish. It’s a great pleasure in tasting every bite of her mushrooms, in fact, it’s very addictive.

As usual, I cooked this dish on the day of Winter Solstice, followed my mum’s way. The dish I cooked isn’t as good as my mother’s, but our family was rather satisfied with the end result, that was very delicious. And I’m going to make this dish again on Chinese New Year’s Eve for sure.

But for now, 2011 is coming tomorrow! Happy New Year to all my readers!

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce (Printable recipe)

Ingredients:
  • 8 to 10 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 thumb-sized rock sugar, about 8 to 10 gm
  • a few drops of oil
  • lettuce, for garnish
  • cornflour, for rinsing mushrooms
Seasonings:
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour/potato starch
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • sesame oil, to taste
Method:
  1. Rinse mushrooms and soak in water for about 30 minutes, or until soft enough that you can trim the stems. Rinse away any dirts or impurities. Change clean water and continue to soak until mushrooms completely softened. Drain out the mushrooms. Save the soaking water for later use. Use a handful of cornflour to mix with the mushrooms and rub with your hand. Set aside for 15 minutes, then rinse.
  2. Use a deep pot, add the mushrooms, soaking water, rock sugar and a few drops of oil. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until water dries up and thickens. Add more water if necessary along the way. Pour in the seasonings and stir to combine. Taste by yourself. Season with soy sauce or sugar if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, blanch lettuce in boiling water with a bit of oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t overcook, it should be a bit crunchy in texture. Drain well. Transfer on a serving plate. Arrange the mushrooms, and ladle sauce on top. Serve hot.

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce02

Notes:
  • The bigger mushrooms would be better, but more expensive. But you don’t have to buy those expensive ones. Those smaller ones are of budget choice. Don’t go for those with thin flesh though. Try to choose the ones with thicker flesh, in shiny black colour. Normally, they come in sealed plastic bag. But if you have any chance, smell some samples before you buy. If the mushrooms smell sweet fragrance, they are of good quality.
  • By adding a small block of rock sugar, the braised mushrooms become shiny.
  • By rubbing the mushroom flesh with a bit of cornflour, then rinse, it helps to make the flesh smoother and velvety.

29 comments :

  1. I love this delicious mushrooms, a must cook for CNY.
    Happy New Year to you and your family :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mom always cooks this dish for CNY. Yum!! Happy New Year, Christine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Also one of our most adorable homemade dishes for the festive seasons.
    Wish you a happy, healthy 2010!

    ReplyDelete
  4. delicious looking..yeah.how can we miss out mushrooms on cny?

    ReplyDelete
  5. looks delicious n yummy...frst time here...lov ur spae..glad to follow u

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks wonderfully delicious. Can't wait for CNY now. =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your mushrooms look so soft and puffy..mmm delicious!

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory and delicious recipe.

    Do you think I can use fresh shiitake mushrooms, instead? The fresh mushrooms are very tender and plump, but I've noticed the flavor of fresh mushrooms that we get in the States are not as intense as the dried ones that I buy from the Chinese market, so I'm not sure how the dish will turn out.

    Also, when do you add in the oyster sauce - during the braising part, or during the seasoning part?


    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @cathliu
    You can use fresh mushrooms instead. As you know, the fresh mushrooms are very tender and soft, so you don't need to soak them, or cook them for too long. Just rinse and briefly cook them with the seasonings, add a bit more water if necessary.
    The flavor of fresh mushrooms that we get here, are not as intense as the dried ones as well. But the texture is very smooth and delicate.

    Thanks for dropping by. Welcome you come back.
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy new year to you and your loved ones! :) Yes the first word I think of when you see the mushrooms photo is "luxurious" ... love whole mushrooms presented this way :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Simple and delicious....yum. I love these type of mushrooms. They are just so flavourful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi I would braised a whole lot and freeze in portions for later use.Can't do without these delicious morsels for CNY.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Indeed. Reminds me of Chinese New Year too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great way to enjoy shiitake mushrooms! The oyster sauce is a nice touch!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Anonymous
    Are you asking if this blog has a fan page? Yes. A widget was installed on the sidebar, or you can click here to join.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Christine

    I will be cooking this dish for this coming Chinese New Year. What brand oyster sauce to you use? Thank so much for all the wonderful recipes.
    Caroline

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Caroline
    I used Lee Kum Kee premium oyster sauce. (李錦記舊庒蠔油) :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just made this and it is delicious! Just like in the chinese restaurants! Another fantastic recipe from you. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe Christine!

    ReplyDelete
  20. can i use regular sugar instead of the rock sugar?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regular sugar can't produce the shiny effect as the rock sugar does.

      Delete
  21. Great dish, did it today!Thanks.
    Greatings from Poland :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi from Australia.
      Thanks for trying my recipe and your kind words.

      Delete
    2. Hi Christine I love all your recipe .I make this dishes all the time too ,sometime I use different kind greens. smell thicker flesh mushrooms and there work great too.sometime I use a little dry scallop while cooking the mushrooms ,give a good taste. Greetings From Canada

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much for your love of my recipes.
      I also like to have fresh mushrooms too. They are quick to make.
      Mushrooms go really well with many different kinds of veggies. They are so versatile.

      Happy cooking and Merry Christmas.

      Delete
  22. Do you know why rock sugar produce the shining effect on the mushrooms?

    ReplyDelete