Chat Mingkwan

Braised Mushroom with Soy Nam Xao Nuoc Tuong                                   

By Chat Mingkwan : Serves 6

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This simple mushroom dish makes a great side addition to all fresh salads. It provides salted earthy flavors from soy sauce and mushrooms, which make a great contrast to refreshing salads. Fresh straw mushrooms are very popular in Vietnam and are best suited for this recipe. The fresh straw mushrooms are difficult to find in the United States, canned straw mushrooms in brine are available but their bland flavor and mushy texture diminish the delicious result. Fresh small mushrooms in button shape can be used and their different types can be mixed together for variety. This dish can be served over steamed rice, noodles, or stuffed in bread.

 1 1/2-2 pounds straw or button mushrooms of your choice

½ pound spongy tofu (optional)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

3 tablespoons soy sauce or mix with seasoning soy, Maggi

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons chili paste (garlic and bean sauce or spicy bean paste)

1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper, more for garnish

1/2 cup vegetable stock or water, more as needed

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

salt to taste

Clean the mushrooms from dirt and impurity. Trim and discard tough stems. If using a variety of mushrooms, cut them into a uniform size so they are cooked at the same time. 

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the garlic until light brown and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushroom (optional tofu) and stir briskly to combine well.

Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, cracked pepper, and vegetable stock. Cook and simmer until the mushrooms are done, about 7-10 minutes.

Transfer to a shallow bowl and garnish with cilantro and more cracked pepper.

Recipe featured in "Asian Fusion" © 2010 Chat Mingkwan 

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