I realised I have been taking Singapore local food for granted the moment we start living overseas. Singapore hawker food is cheap and easily accessible so there's never a worry when I was living in Singapore. Here, though Asian food are not that difficult to find, it's incredibly expensive and not as tasty. As such, my friends (who are also living here) and I started recreating our Singapore favourites over the past one year plus and one dish that we make quite often is this Chinese Braised Mushrooms. It is the heart, the soul, and an important base for Shredded Chicken Hor Fun (Rice Noodle / 鸡丝河粉) and Bak Chor Mee (Dry Tossed Noodles with Minced Meat / 肉脞面).
P.S. This is a scheduled post as I'm currently away on holiday! Thank you for visiting and my apologies as I won't be able to visit your blogs during this period. Do follow me at Instagram (@foodiebaker) to see what I am up to in Switzerland!
Shiitake mushrooms is a versatile and essential ingredient mainly in Asian cuisine, so I always stock up at least 500 grams of them whenever I go back Singapore, because it's cheaper in Singapore and I can be more assured of the quality. I like to get the mushrooms at a wet market as they are more reasonably priced as compared to those packed in pretty-looking boxes. Some sellers can actually vacuum-pack the mushrooms so it's easier to pack them in the luggage. My mom always store the dried mushrooms in the refrigerator (in the crisper section) so I do the same too.
Shiitake mushrooms are usually soaked first to soften them, but they can also be added directly into soups or stocks. The soaking water is liquid gold and often added into the dish the shiitake mushrooms are used for, so never throw that out! Above are some recipes where I've used the shiitake mushrooms! (Click on the photo to go to the respective recipes!)
Shiitake mushrooms' stalks are often discarded or saved for stocks as it's too hard to consume. However, the stalks don't have to be removed for this braised mushrooms dish as the hour long of braising will soften the stalks. You can make them a day or two ahead and keep them in the refrigerator, just heat them up before tossing them into your noodles. I like to make a full recipe and eat it over 2 days, first day for Shredded Chicken Hor Fun and the second day for Bak Chor Mee. No step-by-step photos today because I really don't think you will need them!
I'll leave you all with the braised mushrooms recipe today, and follow up with a recipe for Shredded Chicken Hor Fun soon, so stay tuned!
Chinese Braised Mushrooms
- Pour water over shiitake mushrooms and place a small bowl on top of the mushrooms to submerge them in the water. Soak them overnight until softened. If rushing for time, use hot water. Don't discard the mushroom water!
- Slice the softened shiitake mushrooms into thin slices (no need to discard the stalk).
- Combine the sliced shiitake mushrooms, mushroom water, oyster sauce, sesame oil, light and dark soy sauce, and 500 ml water in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour until the mushrooms are incredibly soft and infused with all the flavours.
- Spoon the braised mushroom onto rice or tossed into your noodles.