I often make these 15-minute stir-fried mushrooms when I need a vegetable dish for lunch or dinner in a hurry. And with its fabulous flavor, enhanced by a few basic spices, it is always a hands-down winner. Even with the picky kid.
There are many mushroom haters in our world, chiefly people who dislike its texture and earthy flavor. I think of these as people who have never really eaten mushrooms cooked the right way. Combined with the right ingredients and cooked until they are tender enough, but still have a bite, mushrooms are tasty and among the easiest vegetables to prep and cook.
What also doesn’t help cooks is all those urban legends surrounding the simple act of washing mushrooms. The recommendations range from a brush to a kitchen towel to wipe them off because water is the enemy that will make mushrooms go soggy and heavy on you. But they came out of the earth covered in dirt didn’t they? I don’t just want to brush them off. And the fact is, a quick shower won’t hurt them.
The way I do it is, I put the mushrooms in a colander with large holes through which the dirt can pass through, and give them a quick rinse. Rightaway, I dry them off on a kitchen towel, before prepping them for the recipe. What you don’t want to do is to leave the mushrooms floating in water for any length of time.
There are many reasons to love mushrooms. Chief among them is their spongy texture which will soak in any flavor you cook them with. But mushrooms are also incredibly healthy. They are high in antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic — as in they keep cancer cells from forming. Like all veggies, they are rich in fiber and vitamins and promote heart health. And some varieties are rich in iron — always a great benefit for a vegan.
Plus, there are so many kinds of mushrooms to love. Crimini, button, shiitake, oyster, portabella, chanterelles, enoki…I don’t think I can keep up, so I’ll stop there. Each has a unique flavor and texture, making mushrooms versatile eats, especially as meat substitutes in the vegan diet.
There are a ton of mushroom recipes on this blog from the many, many years I’ve been cooking and eating them. I love them in old, comfort food favorites like My Dad’s Not Mutton Mushroom Curry. But for speed and ease, this recipe for stir-fried mushrooms is one of my favorites. I hope it’ll become one of yours.
- 12 ounces of button mushrooms (use crimini if you'd rather). Quarter the mushrooms if large, or halve.
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 leaves sprig of curry about 10-12 leaves
- 1 large onion very thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green chili pepper like serrano deseeded and cut into long strips. If you like the heat, keep the seeds. I do.
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped (you can sub with another herb like mint or rosemary or sage)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil like coconut or avocado
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the mustard seeds and, when they crackle, add the coriander leaves, curry leaves, garlic, onions and green chili pepper. Toss for a couple of minutes until the onions soften slightly.
- Add the mushrooms and stir-fry them over high heat for 7-8 minutes. The mushrooms will express some liquid -- let it evaporate. Do not cover the wok.
- Turn off the heat and add salt to taste.
- Serve hot.
Eat this with: