King Oyster Mushrooms
The produce departments in our local Las Vegas Asian grocery stores fascinate me. I’m always finding wonderful things I’ve never cooked before. These super-sized, chubby mushrooms with meaty, six inch stems recently caught my eye during one of my grocery trips to Korea Town. I’ve seen these many times before but this time I decided to grab a package of them to see what I could do with them.
The size of the mushrooms intrigued me, the four of them weighed in at nearly ¾ of a pound. Slicing them into small pieces seemed like a waste of their mass. If I wanted smaller mushrooms, I could just start with smaller ones. I decided to roast them whole, alongside a Sunday roast pork and I was thrilled with the results.
After about 60 minutes they were nicely browned on the outside and still firm to the touch. The interior was firm and meaty. The flavor was very pleasantly similar to porcini. They had taken on much of the flavor of the roast and were perfectly delicious simply sprinkled with a bit of coarse sea salt.
I can think of at least a half dozen ways I plan on using these monster mushrooms. They are begging to be the next victims of my panko breadcrumb obsession and fried to crispy perfection. They’ll definitely be dropped into a simmering pot of beef stew or brushed with garlic oil and grilled alongside a thick rib eye steak but the recipe I’m most anxious to try with them is in a batch of super rich, cream of mushroom soup, the dense stems sliced into thick coins.