Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beech Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce and Fruit Vinegar

While shopping at the San Gabriel Superstore, my mom told me she came across these ladies who were demonstrating how to cook these brown and white beech mushrooms. She tried a few and liked it, so she bought three packages home and showed me how those ladies prepared them.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but my mom told me that the prices on these were not cheap. But I was shopping at Arirang Supermarket in Garden Grove for Korean BBQ beef recently and saw that there were also demo ladies there selling beech mushrooms for $1.79 for a package of 100 grams (3.5 oz).. Much cheaper. I bought two packages there myself because C and J look at mushrooms the same way they look at candy. I would have bought extra for my mom but I didn't think they'd keep long, but I later found out that they will keep up to 30 days. Nice!

At first sight, I thought these looked like larger versions of enoki mushrooms, but after looking them up, I found that they are very different from enoki mushrooms. Brown beech mushroom (Buna shimeji) grow on beech trees in the wild, hence their name. These are prized and are popular in Japan. I thought they are quite pretty and are very clean looking. Here are the three ingredients that go into the sauce: fruit vinegar, oyster sauce, and black sesame oil.

Demo ladies told my mom that one can either boil the mushrooms in water for a minute, or steam them for 5 minutes. I always prefer to steam when I can because I don't like losing the nutrients in the water if I'm not going to drink it.

So here's how my mom prepared the mushrooms:

1. Wash and clean 3 packages (about 11 ounces total) of beech mushrooms.
2. Steam them for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the mushrooms and to them add:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon black sesame oil
1 tablespoon fruit vinegar
4. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and serve either hot or cold.

When I ate the mushroom in the sauce, it was sweet and delicious with just that barely noticeable bitter taste. But that bitterness is the antioxidants at work! I actually preferred the cold leftovers the next day. When I prepared this myself the following week, I just used regular sesame oil and cider vinegar and the taste was pretty much the same.

If anyone has tried beech mushrooms in a different recipe and liked it, let me know because I do love these.


Jen Jen said...

I like to saute it with just some oil, oyster sauce, salt, this other bigger mushroom that they have in chinese market (don't know the name of it), and some tofu.
I aslo put them in my spaghetti sauce :)

Unknown said...

I constantly see this in my local supermarket! It's pretyy good and flavorful as well. We put it in chicken stir fries...

shavedicesundays said...

jen jen: really, spaghetti sauce? That's interesting! You're probably thinking of shitake mushrooms?

wsl987987: i really haven't seen it at the one i shop at, so I'll have to look around at other markets in my area.

Jen Jen said...

nope, i'm not talking about shitake mushroom, I added the beech mushroom into my spaghetti, taste very yummy, my meat replacement.

shavedicesundays said...

jen jen, I didn't know you're vegetarian now? j/k