Mushroom Stir Fry

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

When stir fries are done thoughtfully they are truly excellent. And doing it properly really doesn’t take any more time than the old “throw all things in wok and hope” method. Just a little more preparation.

This is a magnificent and barely-adapted recipe from here, from a blogger called Garrett McCord. The only major difference is my liberal use of fresh chili, to really balance the sweetness of the honey. Speaking of which, if you’re a vegan who eats honey (it happens, right?), this is an incredibly easy and satisfying vegan recipe that can be served easily to non-vegans without qualification.

I think this really must be made with shiitake or similar Asian varieties of mushrooms like oyster mushrooms that will have a bit of chew when cooked. Bog-standard field or button mushrooms will just not cut it. So keep an eye out for specials on shiitakes, especially at markets. If shiitakes are super expensive, you can mix it up with some swiss browns, but no more than a third.

And finally, the “stir” part of stir fry? Actually important. Keep stirring briskly throughout the cooking.

Serves 4 if they’re not too greedy. Keeps well for leftovers the next day if you’re cooking for one or two.


Mushroom glaze:
1/4 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon corn flour
2 teaspoons warm water
1/2 cup vegetable  stock (or chicken stock)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon shao xing cooking wine (easily purchased at Asian food stores, and a useful ingredient)

The Rest :
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
Around 600 grams mushrooms. Chopped into halves or quarters.

4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon finely-grated ginger
1-4 fresh red chilis (depending on how spicy you want it, or how spicy the chilis are), sliced.
1 1/2 cup greens, this can be: whole snow peas or snap peas, or leafy asian greens such as chinese broccoli. Cut off the stalks and slice the chinese brocolli so that each leaf is about halved.

4 spring onions, slice the pale part at roughly half centimetres, and slice the dark green ends into 3 cm pieces.
Sliced spring onion to garnish.
Serve with rice.

Put rice on to cook. Do it now.

Chop and grate and slice all the herbs and vegetables and fungi.

Take out two bowls, the kind you eat cereal in. The bowl on your left is for the mushroom “glaze”. The bowl on the right is the “sauce”. Remember this.

Into the glaze bowl pour 1/4 cup stock, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Stir well.

Into the sauce bowl put 1 tablespoon corn flour. Add a couple of teaspoons of warm water and mix that to make a paste. Now add 1/2 cup stock, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon shao xing cooking wine. Stir well.

Put a large wok over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of the oil you are using. When this is nice and hot (the oil should shimmer a little) add all your mushrooms and stir them quickly as they cook. Do this until they start to give out some water (you’ll see a bit of liquid in the pan). Turn the heat up and pour in the glaze (the bowl on the left, remember?). Let the glaze evaporate,  stirring occasionally this may take about 4 minutes. Pour the mushrooms into a bowl and put to the side.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok (no need to clean it), put the heat on medium. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies and the pale parts of the spring onions. Stir and fry for about 30 seconds, then add the greens and the dark-green parts of the spring onion. Cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat up and add the sauce, allow the mixture to come to the boil. Watch with delight at the sauce thickens. Stir over the high heat for another 30 seconds, pour the mushrooms back into the wok and heat them through for another 30 seconds. Turn off heat.

Serve over rice, garnish with some more sliced spring onions.


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