Friday, February 18, 2011

Sauteed King Oyster Mushrooms

The other night, my friends and I were exhausted and it was past dinner time—about 9pm—but we were hungry and I had a dish I wanted to share. It was pretty simple.  It featured one star ingredient, plus a little love, and that was basically it.  And once it was done, three hungry girls swarmed in, eating right from the skillet, not even bothering with plates or bowl.  It was a true communal meal, and it was wonderful.

It's moment like that that I love.  Moments like that are why I cook, and why I truly do believe that food is love.  Food brings people together, and there is a feeling of closeness and intimacy created when someone cooks for you or when you cook for someone.  This dish is nothing fancy, but I made it because I love it, and I wanted to share it my friends.

Most people haven't heard of king oyster mushrooms, but they can be found pretty easily at any Asian supermarket, and occasionally it is also sold in regular grocery stores.  King oyster mushrooms are large white mushrooms that are both tall and fat, and have a lovely meaty and chewy consistency that is more comparable to abalone than oyster.  I like these prepared simply, as that allows the mushroom's natural sweetness to shine.  You may feel like you need to add water or more butter or something since the mushroom seem a little "dry," but the heat will do it's job and the mushrooms will soften up beautifully and caramelize.  Even if you're not a "mushroom person," I recommend you trying these.  They are unlike any other type of mushroom.  I'm not a huge fan of white button mushrooms or shiitake, but these I will eat any chance I get.  They are simple, hard to mess up, and full of flavor.

Sauteed King Oystery Mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
1-2 tsp Maggi (a type of soy sauce... this is very important to the recipe and I wouldn't suggest replacing it with another type of soy sauce or with salt as it won't impart the same flavor profile)
6-8 large King Oyster mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
1/4 of a sweet onion (optional)

Peel, smash, and roughly chop the garlic.  Chop up the onion into thin strips.  Cut the mushrooms on an angle into thick slices.
Melt 1tbsp of butter in a skillet on medium heat.  Add the garlic and onions and sauté lightly until onions have softened and garlic is has begun to caramelize a bit.
Add the remaining butter and the mushrooms.  Stir quickly to coat the mushrooms evenly in the butter.  It will seem like you don't have enough butter, but keep stirring and giving those mushrooms love.  Add 1-2 tsp of Maggi evenly over the mushrooms and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes (note: these mushrooms take longer to cook that most mushrooms do).  You will see the mushrooms soften and taken on a golden color.  At around 8 minutes or so I often do a little taste test.  I generally don't take my mushrooms off the heat until about 10 minutes, but this is a personal preference as to what texture you like your mushrooms to have.

Serves 3-4 as a light meal or side dish.


  1. I'll try this for lunch today. The other day, I replaced Maggi with Chinese black bean sauce and it did not work at all. The mushrooms actually tasted awful. But knowing that there are starving children in Africa, I finished my mushrooms, and almost cried (of agony). So much for being creative ...

  2. Kikkoman soy sauce and a little bit of salt actually works fairly well. I tried that the other night. I'm sorry that Chinese black bean sauce didn't work out... Bravo for braving through it though!

  3. Sorry was too lazy to log in I didn't wanna seem creepy by posting as "anonymous" haha but I will try this tonight! don't think I have butter though do you think EVOO or margarine will do?


  4. Margarine would probably work better than EVOO simply because it is more neutral in flavor :)

  5. I had some king oyster mushrooms in the refrigerator and wanted to saute them to add to my dinner menu tonight. This was my first hit on google. I made them as written, without the onions, and substituting the soy sauce I had on hand, and these were a wonderful addition to the meal. I will make these again. Thank you.