Archive for the ‘Mushrooms’ Category

* Thai Imperial Spring Rolls

Posted on April 24th, 2011 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Cellophane, Chicken, Cuisine, Deep Fry, Fish sauce, Lemongrass, Mushrooms, Palm sugar, Shrimp, Stir Fry.

Crispy rolls filled with chicken, mushrooms and glass noodles, with characteristically- Thai flavors of lemongrass and fish sauce.  This spring roll differs from their Vietnamese counterpart as it is sweeter and uses eggroll wrappers instead of rice paper.

Chef’s tip: Cutting off an edge of the spring roll wrapper means less pastry around the filling, and would allow the spring roll to thoroughly cook through faster.

2 Tablespoon canola oil
4 small garlic cloves, minced
3 coriander roots, about 2 Tablespoons, scraped and finely chopped (substitute: stems)
3 small shallots, minced
1 lemongrass, white part only, finely minced
1 Thai bird’s eye chili, seeded, finely chopped

6 oz ground chicken
4 oz shrimp, peeled, cleaned, chopped into ½ inch pieces
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg

1 cup wood ear mushroom, fresh or reconstituted, tough stems removed, sliced thinly
1 cup shiitake mushroom, stemmed, small diced
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk green onions, thinly sliced
½ carrot, peeled and grated
2 oz cellophane mung bean noodles, reconstituted in water, cut into 2 inch length

20 pieces 8×8 inch egg springroll wrapper

8 cups canola oil

1.     In a sauté pan. heat oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic, coriander roots, shallots, lemongrass and chilies until fragrant, about 4 minutes.  Let cool.  Set aside.
2.     In a large bowl, add chicken, minced shrimp fish sauce, palm sugar, black pepper, and egg and mix to combine.
3.     Add cooled sautéed garlic mixture, chopped mushrooms, onions, green onions, carrots and bean thread, Stir until just combined.  Do not overmix.
4.     Cut off one corner of a springroll wrapper.  Moisten uncut edges with water.  With the cut corner closest to you, place about 2 Tablespoons of the filling on the bottom third of the wrapper.  Shape the filling into a cylinder, about 3-inches long.  Fold the left and right side over the filling. Holding the sides in place, fold the bottom flap up and roll the roll up into a tight cylinder.  Lay the rolls flap side down on the moistened towel and cover with another moist towel.  Repeat folding the remaining rolls.
5.     Frying the spring rolls:  Heat canola oil till 330F.  Drop several spring rolls into the oil and fry till golden brown, about 5 minutes each.   Do not overcrowd. Immediately drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet.  Bring the oil back up to temperature and continue until all the spring rolls have been fried.

Serves 10

Gluten-free option: Replace springroll wrappers with rice paper wrappers for Step 4

1 lb package 8 inch round Vietnamese rice paper wrappers

3 Tablespoons sugar

4.     Line a baking sheet with a damp tea towel and have another damp towel ready to cover the rolls. Line a cutting board with a third damp towel.  Fill a large sauté pan with 2 inches of water. Add sugar, bring water to a boil, then turn heat to very low. Working with one sheet of rice paper at a time, dip half the disc into the hot water, holding one corner with your fingers or a pair of chopsticks. Let it sit for about 5 seconds. Quickly dip the other half and remove and spread out flat on lined cutting board.    Place about 2 Tablespoons of the filling on the bottom third of the rice paper.  Shape the filling into a cylinder, about 3-inches long.  Fold the left and right side over the filling. Holding the sides in place, fold the bottom flap up and roll the roll up into a tight cylinder.  Lay the rolls flap side down on the moistened towel and cover with another moist towel. Patch any broken areas with small pieces of soaked, rice paper.  Repeat folding the remaining rolls.


1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sriracha
2 Tablespoons fish sauce

1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced

To make dipping sauce, place water, sugar, vinegar, and Sri Racha and fish sauce in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling until sauce is reduced by half, about 8 to 10 minutes, and the sauce has thickened to maple syrup consistency.   Stir in the ginger and garlic.  Cool.

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* Kao Fu

Posted on September 19th, 2010 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Braise, Mushrooms, Shanghainese, Sides, Soy sauce, Star anise, vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian.

Not your mom’s little brother but the chewy wheat gluten aka seitan.  I think all the modern seitans you get at health food stores these days that are braised in a soy-based sauce has its roots in this classic Shanghainese appetizer.

Chef’s tip:  To simplify the recipe, you may skip the deep fry (steps 3 and 4).  The deep frying lends a more complex flavor to the dish.  It also balances the sauce that is soaked in the gluten.  The gluten, as the most absorbent item, is intensely flavored.

2 pieces star anise
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peanuts, peeled, raw
2 cups water

4 oz fresh wheat gluten, torn into bite size pieces
2 cups canola oil

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced thickly
2 cups wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted from 1/2 cup dry, trimmed of hard stems
1 cup lily buds, reconstituted from 1/2 cup dry, trimmed of hard stems, knotted
1 cup bamboo shoots, rinsed, sliced

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1. Place star anise, soy sauce, sugar, water, peanuts and water in a pot and bring to boil.  Turn low to simmer 20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, soak what gluten in hot water, rinse.  Repeat.  Squeeze very dry between tea towels.
3. Bring oil to 350F.  Deep fry gluten pieces till golden brown.  Drain on a cookie rack on a sheet pan.
4. Plunge cooled gluten into a big bowl of room temperature water.  Give it a few good squeeze.  Squeeze dry.
5.  Add mushrooms, lily buds, bamboo shoots and gluten to the sauce mixture and bring to boil.  If the sauce does not cover the ingredients, add a little more water.  Turn heat to low and simmer till almost dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
6. Drizzle with sesame oil.  Toss to mix.  Chill and serve cold.

Serves: 4

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* Chao Nian Gao – Shanghai Rice Cakes

Posted on September 16th, 2010 by Linda. Filed under Chicken, Chinese, Entree, Green onions, Mushrooms, Napa Cabbage, Noodles, Pasta, Rice, Shanghainese, Stir Fry.

Sticky, chewy Chinese rice cakes are definitely a textural affair.  These Chinese gnocchi make a great base for many flavors – leeks with lamb, salted egg yolks with crab roe or simply in a clear soup.  This simple Shanghai-style stir-fry recipe, which I recreated from eating the nian gao that my friend Geraldine’s mom makes, is a truly satisfying comfort food.

Chef’s tip: Well, Mrs.Liu recommended the Korean-made rice cakes over the Chinese made ones since it doesn’t require parboiling or soaking.

4 pieces chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2  Tablespoon shao xing wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon oil

4 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon shao xing wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup chicken broth (and more if needed)

3 Tablespoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 slices ginger, thinly julienned
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 cups napa cabbage, stems and leaves separated, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
16 oz rice ovaletts (fresh, refrigerated ones, preferably Korean made), toss to separate
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 stalk green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced

1. Marinade chicken strips with soy sauce, oyster sauce, shao xing wine, sugar, cornstarch and oil for 20 minutes.
2. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Heat a wok or a non stick pan over high heat.  Add half the oil, when hot, add garlic and ginger.  Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add marinated meat and onions and brown meat, about 2 minutes.  Push to the side of the wok.
4. Add napa cabbage stems and red bell pepper and saute until limp, about 2 minutes.    Push to the side of the wok.
5.  Add remaining oil, then add the rice cakes.  Drizzle in part of the sauce mixture, being careful to not soak the rice cakes.  Toss all wok ingredients together.  Add in cabbage leaves.  When the sauce has cooked off, add remaining sauce in parts, each time being careful not to soak the rice cakes.  Continuously stir fry until the rice cakes are tender, about 6 minutes.
6.  Drizzle in the sesame oil, and toss with green onions.  Serve immediately.

Serves: 4

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