Friday, September 14, 2007

Sweet and Sour Oyster Mushroom

Ahh! This is the vegetarian/vegan version of the sweet and sour fish or meat Chinese dish. Forget about the mock fish or pork. Use oyster mushroom and it is equally tasty. If you are not a big fan of mushroom, use tempeh (made from a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybean particles into a cake form) instead.

Preparation: 5 mins plus 20 mins standing time, Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
° 100g oyster mushroom/spawn mushroom, washed, drained well and pat dry
° 1 (100g) tomatoes, cut into wedges
° 100g cucumber, cut into cubes
° 2 slices ginger, finely chopped
° 2 cloves garlic (optional), finely chopped
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° vegetable oil, for deep-frying
° ¾ teaspoon Chinese five-spices powder
° 60g corn starch, for coating
° ¼ teaspoon salt

° 2 tablespoons tomatoes sauce
° 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
° 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
° 1 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
° ¾-1 teaspoon corn starch
° 1 teaspoon cooking rice wine (optional)
° 90ml water

1. Marinate the oyster mushrooms with Chinese five-spice powder and salt for 20 minutes.
2. Pour the corn starch on a plate and coat the oyster mushroom with corn starch.
3. Heat oil and sesame oil in a deep-fryer or wok over high heat or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil brown in few seconds. Drop the oyster mushroom into the hot oil and fry in batches until lightly golden brown.
4. Remove the oyster mushroom with a slotted spoon. Drain well on kitchen paper and arrange on a serving plate. Set aside.
5. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
6. Heat oil in a wok. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1 minute.
7. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and stir-fry for 1½ minutes. Give the sauce mixture a stir before pouring into the work and bring to a boil.
8. Pour over the deep-fried oyster mushrooms and serve immediately.

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