Braised Shiitake Mushrooms
This is a very tasty Chinese braised mushrooms recipe I learnt from my mum. A braised or stewed dish is my mum’s specialty. She has been cooking a braised dish of sorts (with hard-boiled egg, pork belly, tofu, mushrooms) weekly for decades. Her approach is really simple – just a harmony of spices, carefree cooking style (she never measures) and lots of experience.
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Now I have also started to make these braised mushrooms frequently as they keep well in the fridge (so I can prepare ahead), covered in its braising sauce. It goes well with steamed rice and exceptionally well as a topping for mee sua, noodles or even salads. I also use small spoonfuls of braising sauce to flavour my noodles and salad (in place of soy sauce).
Look at these braised mushrooms toppings being used in my home-made bak chor mee.
(toggle through the gallery above to see more pictures)
A braise recipe is very forgiving. Too salty? Add more water. Too bland? Add more soy sauces. Mushrooms not tender enough? Cook longer. Sauce too dry? Add water. I added rock sugar and dried chilli to my mum’s original recipe to improve the look and taste of the mushrooms. Just make sure not to overdose on the cinnamon or star anise (a little goes a long way), and be patient if you are using white peppercorns. Dry toasting them whole may take a longer time than using crushed peppercorns, but the flavour is certainly better. And you can also skip the peppercorn step if you are busy.