For many people, mushrooms are prized for their ‘meatiness’. That chewy, toothsome quality makes mushrooms a great staple for those following plant-based diets. Mushrooms owe their meatiness to chitin—a polysaccharide and derivative of glucose—which makes up the cell walls of most fungi. Chitin is fibrous, absorbs water well, and is tough to break down. In fact, because of that toughness, it’s pretty hard to overcook mushrooms. They retain their texture even after hours of simmering. Here we pair briny, meaty oyster mushrooms with coconut for a warming dish you can whip up any night of the week. After searing the mushrooms, we simmer them in a mixture of coconut milk, garlic, and ginger. The mushrooms absorb the liquid and plump up, while retaining their meaty texture. We like these mushrooms over wild or black rice, with plenty of toasted macadamia nuts for crunch. But feel free to eat them over noodles, sweet potatoes, or just straight out of the pot.
Braised Oyster Mushrooms, Coconut, and Macadamia
- 1 13.5-ounce can light coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, torn into 2-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- ½-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 cup black rice or wild rice
- 1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
- Whisk coconut milk and cornstarch in medium bowl until combined and set aside. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, turning once, until golden brown on most sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in coconut milk mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mushrooms are tender and plump, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Season with fish sauce if desired and salt to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, bring to simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice has absorbed water, 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff rice with fork, cover and set aside.
- To serve, divide rice between two bowls. Spoon mushrooms over rice and pour coconut sauce on top. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts and serve.
Nutrition facts:2 842 calories 20 grams of protein 77 grams of carbohydrates 10 grams of fiber 5 grams of sugar 275 milligrams of sodium 644 milligrams of potassium 55 grams of fat ( 15 grams of saturated fat 26 grams of monounsaturated fat 10 grams of polyunsaturated fat )
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