King mushrooms braised in pineapple sauce makes a quick and easy side dish. The beautiful part of this dish is that it works both as a vegetable side dish and a meat substitute. King mushrooms have a chewier, more meaty texture than Portobello mushrooms, which is very pleasant if you're looking for a filling meal without a ton of calories.
The mushrooms are sliced, then braised in crushed pineapple and soy sauce. If you’re a true carnivore though, you could always replace the mushrooms with chicken breast.
Servings: 6 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 King oyster mushrooms
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (see tips)
2 small red Thai bird chiles (optional)
3/4 teaspoon mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 sprigs cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Cut the mushrooms into ½"- thick slices.
In a wok, heat the oil. Add the shallots and cook until golden. Add the mushrooms and whole red chiles. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Season with mushroom seasoning salt. Transfer to a platter with the mushroom juice.
Add more oil (if necessary) to the wok. Add the garlic ginger paste. Cook until fragrant and add the crushed pineapple, granulated sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil; add a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons. Return the King mushrooms to the wok. Stir constantly until the sauce is absorbed by the mushrooms. Once the water evaporates, check the doneness of the mushrooms. Finish with a touch of sesame oil and black pepper and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Little reminder on how to make ginger garlic paste: Clean one (2-inch) chunk of fresh ginger, carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife or the edge of a spoon, then finely chop it. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender and add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.
You can find king oyster mushrooms in Asian stores.
Mushroom seasoning salt brings a very distinct, earthy flavor to the sauce. You can buy it at gourmet specialty stores or in most Korean stores. I buy mine at the Marina -10122 Bandley Drive -Cupertino, CA 95014.
The soy sauce brings saltiness to the dish and a nice amber brown color. My favorite soy sauce is the Da Bo De brand. It has a good flavor and is not too salty. You can find this particular sauce at Dai Thanh Asian market on 420 S 2nd St, San Jose.
If you have leftover pineapple pulp/juice, you could make a pineapple cocktail drink.