I’ve reached day six of the Eating Down the Fridge challenge and I’m happy to report all is going well. No one is starving and our meals are not a crazy combination of disparate goods.
I’m also excited to announce you can read more about my EDF experience on A Mighty Appetite with Kim O’Donnel at the The Washington Post website.
Today, I’m sharing a dinner from the other night which utilized items from the fridge and freezer. My mother-in-law recently hooked me on giant oyster mushrooms. She made them as a side dish and I loved the meaty texture. She paired them with reconstituted dried shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce.
Although it works well as a side dish, we had it as a light non-meat dinner along with steamed rice.
I’ve seen the giant oyster mushrooms in our asian market, usually 6 inches long by 2 inches wide. The bright white stems look gorgeous, so thick and tender. One of my favorite aspects of these mushrooms is that they are so clean, pristine white and no dirt to wipe off.
Dried shitake mushrooms are quite common and I’ve bought them a few times. My mother-in-law reconstitutes the mushrooms in some sort of flavored broth (still a secret at this point – I’m working on it), then freezes for later use. You can reconstitute in any liquid you choose.
After having them at her house recently (and raving about how much I enjoyed them), she sent me home with a baggy of the flavorful shitakes. You’ll see them defrosting below:
Oyster & Shitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce
3 giant oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons oil
1 dozen dry shitake mushrooms, reconstituted
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 green onion for garnish
Add the oil to a sautee pan and place over medium heat. When hot, add the oyster mushrooms and sautee until tender. Add reconstituted shitakes and cook for an additional minute to heat through.
Add oyster sauce and soy sauce, stirring to coat the mushrooms before serving.
The meal came together quickly because I utilized a prepared asian sauce. I keep a good selection of sauces on hand, since any sauce combined with veggies and make is an instant meal. With all of these sauces and seasonings, I recommend the Lee Kum Kee brand. It’s easy to find throughout North America in all types of markets and is consistently good quality.
[note: I don't get any kickback from Lee Kum Lee, I just love their sauces!]
A few of my favorite asian sauces and seasonings:
- Oyster Sauce: Dark and thick, a robust and slightly sweet sauce with the subtle essence of oysters. Great for adding flavor to vegetables.
- Hoisin Sauce: Thick and sweet, hoisin is a common dipping sauce but also works well to sweeten stir-fry dishes.
- Chiu Chow: A spicy hot blend of chilies, garlic, and oil. Mix with soy sauce for a dipping sauce or drizzle over noodles for an added kick.
- Sesame Paste: Asian sesame paste uses unhulled sesame seeds and is slightly more bitter than tahini. We use it with soy sauce as a dipping sauce, but I also use it in noodle dishes and soups.
- Sriracha (aka Rooster Sauce): Based on a Thai hot sauce, the common North American brand features a Rooster on the bottle. It’s peppery and spicy, and is quickly becoming my all purpose condiment. Use it in any dish to add some heat. I’ve been using it lately in sandwiches.
- Black Bean Sauce: Fermented black beans, usually added to both vegetable and meat dishes.
- Korean BBQ Sauce: A sweet and garlicky sauce, perfect for marinating chicken or pork before placing on the grill. The sugars in the sauce caramelize nicely and make for an amazing flavor. I sometimes use in in stir-fry as well.
- Dark Soy Sauce: A rich and thick form of aged soy sauce, it gives a deep flavor to any dish. A little goes a long way – I sometimes drizzle it into fried rice, almost every noodle dish, and over meat.