Mushrooms are very popular in China, especially in the south where the warm, moist climate is ideal for fungi. The varieties of mushrooms are endless. The three used in this recipe have very different characteristics: straw mushrooms have a musky scent and meaty texture; Chinese dried mushrooms are smoky-flavored and densely textured; button mushrooms are mild and soft. Combining all three in a substantial and rich sauce transforms the mushroom from a supporting ingredient to a vegetable dish in its own right. Straw and dried mushrooms can be bought at Chinese groceries but if you can't get them, this recipe is nearly as delicious made entirely with button ones (use 12 ounces button mushrooms).


  • 10 large Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 8 oz. canned Chinese straw mushrooms
  • 3 oz. button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps rice wine
  • 3 tbsps oyster sauce
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 2 tsps garlic, finely chopped
  • cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsps scallion, finely chopped


1. Soak the Chinese dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, and then drain them. Since them well and squeeze out any excess liquid Discard the tough stems, then shred the caps and put them aside. Drain and rinse the canned straw mushrooms, but leave them whole. Wash and slice the button mushrooms.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet, then add the oil. Now add all the mushrooms and stir-fry them, mixing them well, for a few seconds. Then quickly add the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, oyster sauce, sugar, garlic, and chicken stock. Turn the heat down and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring continuously until the fresh mushrooms are thoroughly cooked. Then mix in the scallions, stir for a few seconds, and serve at once.


Throw some extra mushrooms into the soaking liquid; some of them will remain stiff as tree bark after even 40 minutes of soaking. 10 dried shiitake mushrooms yields ~5 oz. soaked-and-squeezed.


Ken Hom


4 servings




Asian : East Asian : Cantonese




- Wok