Braised mushroom 蠔油燜冬菇 is a traditional Chinese cuisine that can grace the banquet and also serves as the everyday dish at home.
The Chinese cooked dried shiitake mushrooms in many ways. Among all, braised Shiitake mushroom with oyster sauce is the easiest dish to prepare.
The braising method is straightforward. The only setback is you need time to braise the mushroom. You only need to ensure there is sufficient water in the pot for braising. The real preparation time is relatively short.
Here is the step by step instruction on how to prepare braised shiitake mushrooms with oyster sauce.
The step by step guide- How to braise mushroom with oyster sauce
1. Choice of mushrooms
Choose the Shitake mushroom that is medium to large size, with a thick mushroom cap. These mushrooms have a firm texture and the ability to absorb lots of gravy, and that means plenty of flavors.
Fresh shitake mushrooms do not taste as good as the dried, dehydrated ones. The fresh mushrooms are too soft and will break after prolonged braising. They are also not as fragrance compares to the dried mushrooms.
I suggest you do not substitute the dried Shitake mushroom with other types of mushrooms. They have a unique aroma which set apart from others.
2. Soak the mushrooms
Clean the dried shitake mushrooms. Soak it in water overnight or up to a day until they are adequately hydrated. How long it takes to rehydrate depends on the size and thickness of the mushrooms. It is a good idea to soak it the night before cooking, as they will not get oversoaked.
Dried shiitake mushrooms that are not adequately soaked take much longer time to braise until sufficiently soft and tender. It is also hard to cut off the stem that is dry and hard.
After removing the stem, clean the mushroom and is ready for braising. Do not cut the mushrooms. They should be braised and eventually served uncut.
Keep the water after soaking the mushrooms. The water contains loads of flavor diffuse from the mushrooms, which is ideal to use it as the braising liquid. Discard the sediment at the bottom of the water as it may contain some sand.
3. Prepare the aromatics
There are three aromatic ingredients for this dish- ginger, garlic, and scallion for this braised mushroom dish.
Ginger. You may slice or cut the ginger into small dice. Since I only want the flavor of ginger, I would prefer coarsely chopped the ginger instead. Saute the ginger until it turns fragrant.
Garlic. Bash a few cloves of garlic with the back of the knife. Add the garlic to the ginger and continue sauteing. We add the garlic only the ginger starts to turn aromatic because garlic tends to brown much faster than ginger. Saute over low heat for another one minute.
Scallion Cut the scallion into 5cm sections and add to the garlic and ginger. Try to use the white instead of the green section since it is more aromatic.
4. Braised mushrooms with low heat
Now add the adequately hydrated Shitake mushrooms to the pan. Add water (or stock), Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, rock sugar, light, and dark soy sauce. Bring the braising liquid to a boil. Cover and continue braising the mushroom over minimum heat.
Shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce is a tested combination that yields the best mouth-watering flavor. The flavor is even better by using a good quality oyster sauce. However, you can use the mushroom extract aka Vegetarian Oyster Sauce as the substitute.
The vegetarian oyster sauce is developed to cater to the need of the vegetarian. The main ingredient of this sauce is mushroom extract with the texture and flavor resemble the ‘real’ oyster sauce. The taste may not be as intense as the original oyster sauce but conveniently making it suitable for the vegetarians.
Braising will let the mushrooms to absorb all the flavor release by the aromatics, and from the seasonings. The process concentrates the flavor to become a thick gravy eventually.
How long it take to braise depends on the size and thickness of the mushrooms. Generally, it will need about forty-five minutes to one hour until the mushrooms are soft and tender. It is crucial to braise the mushrooms until soft and tender. Add some boiling water to continue browsing if necessary.
Thicken with cornstarch slurry
When the mushrooms are soft, and the braising liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup, add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Constitute the cornstarch slurry by mixing one teaspoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of water. Add half of it to the mushroom and keep stirring until the cornstarch is sufficient to thicken the liquid. You may not need to add the remainder if it is already thick enough.
Once the gravy is thick enough, stop adding the remaining cornstarch slurry. Remove from heat as further heating will dry up the gravy.
You want to try another mushroom dish stir fry I recently uploaded. It is prepared with shitake, king oyster and shimeiji mushroom. Click here to get the recipe.
Blanch the broccoli
It is a good idea to blanch some broccoli to serve along with the braised mushroom with oyster sauce. Broccoli is ideal because it has a vibrant color and a crunchy in contrast to the soft texture of the mushrooms. It also soaks up any excess mushroom gravy to make it incredibly delicious.
- Cut the broccoli into large florets.
- Prepare a pot of boiling water
- Add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and some cooking oil.
- Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for three to four minutes until soft. It is cooked when the tines of the fork can slip out easily from the florets after insert into it.
You can also steam the broccoli If you are concerned that blanching will affect the nutritional value.
Place the braised mushroom at the center of a plate, and surrounded with the broccoli florets. Serve.
- 100g dried shiitake mushrooms (15-20 mushrooms)
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 4 stalks scallion
- 10 cloves garlic
- 20g ginger
- 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 vegetable stock
- 200g broccoli
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (plus tablespoon water)
For the mushrooms
- Clean the dried shitake mushrooms. Soak it in water overnight or up to a day until they are adequately hydrated.
- Remove the stem and clean the mushroom. Keep the water used to soak the mushroom for braising in the next step.
- Cut the ginger into small dice, bash the garlic cloves with the back of the knife, and cut the scallion into 5cm sections.
- Add some cooking into the pan, saute the ginger until for a minute, then add the garlic to saute further until aromatic and turn slightly brown.
- Add the scallion, mushrooms, water (or stock), wine, oyster sauce, rock sugar, light, and dark soy sauce. Bring the braising liquid to a boil, then continue to braise the mushroom with minimum heat with the lid on. It will take half to one hour depends on the size and thickness of the mushrooms.
- Braise the mushroom until soft and tender. Add some boiling water to continue browsing if necessary.
- When the braising liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, add the cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce.
- Remove the mushrooms and serve.
For the broccoli
- Cut the broccoli into large florets.
- Add a teaspoon of salt to a pot of boiling water. Blanch the broccoli for about four minutes until soft.
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Serving Size:4 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 734mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 3g Protein: 5g