Everyday is a meatless day for me and it’s been that way for over 20 years. For some, going meatless means only a day or two a week or more and that can often seem challenging for those that are not veteran vegetarians.
Today I am offering up a simple but positively delicious Asian side featuring one of my favorites – plump meaty mushrooms. If you are a mushroom fiend like myself and enjoy Asian flavors, then this is a classic dish to try. Yes, mushrooms are a weakness of mine and that might explain why on the rare occasion I dine out, it is not uncommon for every dish I order to contain mushrooms.
Quickly pan-fried over high heat to keep the juices in, these mushrooms are plump and tender and glazed in a simple and zesty homemade teriyaki sauce with a little garlic, ginger and dried red chili flakes to give them a delightful little kick. Teriyaki sauce is a snap to whip up, with staples from your kitchen, so no need to rely on store-bought alternatives with all the extra junk in them.
No more than 10 minutes prep and 10 minutes cooking time, and you have a delicious and attractive side dish for any Asian-themed meal. The recipe is easily doubled for larger dining engagements.
Teriyaki Mushrooms with Cashews
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, halved or coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 1 green onion, green and white parts, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 8 oz (225 g) white, cremini or shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, toss in the cashew pieces and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and toss in the brown sugar, tamari sauce, vinegar, red chili flakes, cayenne if using, the white parts of the green onion, garlic and ginger. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar, then turn up the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are heated through and nicely browned.
Add the cashews and toss to combine. Serve hot with small rounds of green onion.
Yields 2 servings.
While we are on the topic of Asian meals, do consider these meatless alternatives:
[highlight]Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper[/highlight]
[highlight]Chinese-Style Fried Brown Rice and Vegetables[/highlight]