Celebrate the Chinese New Year with this hearty mushroom recipe. Mushrooms are available year round, however, many are at their peak in fall and winter. Use a variety for a more interesting dish.
In 2016, my husband and I visited our daughter in Taiwan where she was studying. During a short excursion to Sun Moon Lake, in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain range, we ate this dish for the first time. We fell in love with it’s sweet, salty and earthy harmony.
"Three-Cup” refers to the use of equal parts sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. However, ½ cup of sesame oil and ½ cup of soy sauce was a bit excessive. This recipe comes the closest to replicating the dish we had in Taiwan, without being too salty or oily.
Mushroom Three-Cup Stir Fry
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 2-to-3- inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into thins disks
12 medium/small size cloves whole garlic, peeled
5 whole scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 ½ pounds fresh mushrooms, any variety (I used King Oyster, Enoki, White Shimeji, Oyster)
1-2 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch half moons*
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
½ cup rice wine*
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
1 cup fresh Thai basil*
*Notes: Substitutes for rice wine are dry sherry or sake. Thai basil preferably, however, regular basil will work. Feel free to try other vegetables such as brussel sprouts and eggplant.
Using a damp paper towel, wipe mushrooms of any dirt. Cut bigger mushrooms into large bite size pieces, but keep smaller ones (i.e. enoki) whole.
In a wok or large skillet over medium-heat add 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Swirl around pan, when oil begins to shimmer add the ginger, garlic, scallions, and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
Push contents towards sides of wok, then in center of wok add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and heat through. Add mushrooms, stirring constantly. After 5-6 minutes add zucchini stirring constantly for another 6-7 minutes.
Add brown sugar and stir to combine, then add rice wine, soy sauce, water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, simmer until sauce has thickened, approximately 10 minutes.
Turn off heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and basil. Stir to combine.
Serve with rice, pasta or even spaghetti squash for a low carb option.