Braised Chinese Mushrooms with Cai Xin
蠔菇菜心 Háo gū cài xīn
We are celebrating our Lunar New Year campaign by sharing how mushrooms are used in Chinese culture. Last week, we wrote about mushrooms in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Today, Nicko will be are sharing a delicious mushroom dish with us called 蠔菇菜心 háo gū cài xīn (Braised Chinese Mushrooms with Choi Sum, or Bok Choy)
“This dish carries a lot of nostalgia for me. Growing up in a Chinese household in Thailand, I remember having this dish and its many variations served around Lunar New Year. It always came with many other protein-heavy dishes on the round table, but my favourite has always been the umami-rich, nutty and almost meaty Shiitake mushrooms. I often cook this dish and substitute the Bok Choy with Gailan (Chinese broccoli) or Choi Sam, but the Shiitake is always the winner. This dish always brings me back home.” says Nicholas Assaraskorn, Sustainable Packaging Product Designer, Hekate.
You can follow our instructions or look at the recipe here.
100g dried shiitake mushrooms (15-20 mushrooms)
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
4 stalks scallion
10 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon Shaoxing Huadiao wine
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce
5g rock sugar
250ml (1 cup) of water or stock
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (plus tablespoon water)
- Soak your dried mushrooms in hot water for at least half an hour. It’s best to soak in overnight, but hot water works very well in rehydrating the mushrooms in a pinch.
- Chop our two cloves of garlic and set it aside
- Soak and rinse our bok choy a couple of times. You want to use a bowl and agitate it as much as you can as it can sometimes be a little sandy
- Strain your mushrooms and squeeze out the water, but save all the liquid. Then trim the stems off. You can save the stems for future stir-fries if you’d like
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, then we’re going to blanch the bok choi for around 40 seconds, stirring occasionally. Quickly drain it and soak it in cold water to shock it and stop the cooking process.
- Bring your wok to med-high heat, then add the oil and garlic, stir fry for 10 seconds before adding your shiitake mushrooms and Shaoxing wine. These steps happen very quickly, so you want to have all your sauces ready and on hand.
- After about a minute, pour in about a cup of the mushroom soaking liquid, being careful not to pour in any of the sediments.
- After the liquid comes to a simmer, add the rest of the sauces in no particular order and stir to combine.
- As the sauce reduces, you can adjust the taste or add more of the liquid according to your preference
- Once you’re happy with the seasoning. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and make sure it comes to a simmer before shutting the heat off.
- Drain the bok choi well and plate it on your favourite festive dish. Place the cooked mushrooms in the centre before drizzling the sauce back onto the dish. It is now ready to be served! Enjoy!