Friday, August 10, 2012

Fragrant Fungi

oyster mushrooms, aren't they pretty!
If you love mushrooms, you are probably familiar with button, crimini, and portobello mushrooms. The big three mushrooms are easy to find, inexpensive, and a snap to prepare.

It's time to step up your fungus appreciation and try something new. In this recipe, you will learn to cook with dried porcini, oyster, and shitake mushrooms.

Fragrant Fungi
nutrition facts


1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (see pic)
soaking water
1/4 cup olive oil
8 oz crimini mushrooms
4 oz oyster mushrooms (see pic)
4 oz shitake mushrooms (see pic)
dried porcini mushrooms

4 garlic cloves
1 t cumin seeds
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

What to do:

Place the porcini in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for about 20-30 minutes. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Either rinse or brush the crimini, oyster, and shitake mushrooms. I'm a rinser, but if you brush that's ok, just make sure you get all the crud. Slice the crimini in half and cut the oyster and shitake into pieces of approximately the same size as the cremini.

Mince the garlic. In separate bowls, measure the cumin and black pepper. (Hint, the amount of cumin is on the low side for those that are not familiar with it. If you love it already, measure two teaspoons instead of one)
shitake mushrooms

Rinse and rough chop the cilantro.

In a large pot that has a good tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic. Stir for a minute or two until the garlic releases its wonderful aroma throughout the kitchen. Raise the heat to medium high and add the cumin seeds. Let them cook until they start to pop and bounce. It's rather fun. Like popcorn.

Add the porcini, crimini, oyster, and shitake mushrooms and stir. Cover with the lid and allow to cook for another five minutes.

Ad the black pepper and stir. The mushrooms will have exuded a bit of liquid. Simmer and stir for another five minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.

Excellent topped with a bit of dried hot red pepper flakes. Wonderful served as part of a vegetarian or carnivorous meal.


If you don't have cumin seeds and just have ground cumin, that is fine to use. It's just not as fun.

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