You know those big weird looking mushrooms that you usually see in the supermarkets, but you never actually thought of trying because they looked not that appetizing. Well, today we will explore those mushrooms – and no – this is not a fancy French approach featuring a whole brick of butter. It is more of a sensible small kitchen / you can not go wrong with the approach.
The key to these mushrooms is not overcrowding the pan. As they are a little tougher than the other types of mushrooms, they need a little extra time and some steam to cook properly. The basic approach is, start with a pan that you can cover in high heat, let them get a nice sear on one side, turn them around and lower the heat. There you add the kryptonite of mushrooms: salt. It will drain the remaining liquid and if you cover it – it will let them actually steam a bit.
You are going to need:
- 200-250 grams of oyster mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Olive oil for the pan (you can go with butter, but you have to be careful that It doesn’t burn – so I would not go there unless you know what you are doing)
- Some sort of green fresh herbs (which I did not have at the moment but highly recommend)
- Salt and pepper
- A pan with a lid.
How to get it done:
- Cut the oyster mushrooms flat. This is the hardest task of them all because these mushrooms come in the most various forms. One of the key things to take into account is thickness. Thicker means more time in the pan. If your pieces are in all different shapes and sizes, their cooking time will vary. This high variance will leave the smallest of the pieces burned and the largest undercooked.
- Heat a pan with a bit of olive oil. Once it is hot (note: not smoking – because mushrooms are tender – we do not want them to get a steak sear)
- Throw the mushrooms in, try not to overcrowd the pan for best results (note: overcrowding the pan will result in some mushrooms not getting the proper sear – they will definitely cook, so it is not a deal-breaker – but to properly enjoy these mushrooms they need to have a bit of sear)
- Give them a couple of minutes and flip them. Once flipped add salt and pepper.
- At this point, you need to cover the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. The mushrooms at this point will release the remaining moisture and that will help them cook in the steam.
- Give them 5 minutes.
- At this point check them, give it a quick stir and add the garlic. The later you add the garlic to a dish, the more present it will be. Once normal clove will give it that great garlicky flavor. On a negative note, if the heat is too high, the garlic will burn – and burned garlic is an acquired taste…
- Stir them so everything is incorporated and then take the pan off the heat and toss them with a bit of chopped cilantro/chives/mint/whatever you have and if not, nothing.
- Serve them.
- Now if the thing about mushrooms is that if you let them get cold, they release some liquid and become soggy. I would highly recommend to eat them piping hot.
- As a final comment – I tried them with a bit of honey mustard – and the taste was interesting and rich. As a side dish – definitely recommended.