Food Gold: Hardcore Mushroom Stir-Fry

Posted on Jun 14th, 2011 in Food Gold by Mr. Goldbar

For this week’s Food Gold we are bringing back our man Sam Goldman, who is going to teach us how to make some mosh-worthy mushrooms.

Like your host Young Elz, I was a hardcore kid in the mid-90s. In addition to some truly egregious fashion decisions (New Balances! Windbreakers! – Ed.) being into hardcore meant we weren’t allowed to eat meat. That shit was non-negotiable. You got extra cred for full-on veganism, but you just weren’t down if you ate flesh. So we had to make do.

I like my steaks these days, but this old school mushroom stir-fry is one that I still make all the time. In addition to being delicious, this recipe highlights two techniques that you can use for other dishes. First, just wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel rather than washing them under flowing water. This keeps them dry, which helps them brown. Second, add garlic and onions toward the end of the stir frying. (They’ll burn if you put them in at the beginning, as most recipes advise.)

On with the show. Throw on some “Firestorm” and get busy to this!


– 1 lb mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces. Asian mushrooms like shitake are best. Avoid white button mushrooms, which have very little flavor. To prepare the mushrooms, wipe them all over with a damp paper towel, and cut off any woody stems. Then slice ’em up.

– 2 tbs chopped garlic

– 1 tbs chopped ginger

– 2 scallions, the white parts thinly sliced, the greens shredded.

Swag Sauce:

– 2tbs soy sauce

– 2tbs Shaoxing rice wine, mirin, sherry or white wine

– 1 tsp oyster sauce OR 1 tsp black bean sauce (if you use black bean sauce, you may want to add ½ tsp sugar)

– Sesame oil to taste


1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or wide sauté pan over medium high until just smoking.

2. Add mushrooms in one layer and let them cook without moving for a couple of minutes.

3. Toss the mushrooms around to circulate them in the pan. After they’re coated with oil, leave them for another couple of minutes. Repeat until the mushrooms are beginning to brown.

4. When the mushrooms are golden and bit crispy, add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites. Stir fry for a minute or less—just until you can smell the cooking garlic.

5. Pour in the swag sauce and stir fry for another thirty seconds until it’s mostly absorbed. You want the mushrooms to be moist, but not swimming in liquid.

6. Scatter the shredded scallions on top and drizzle with sesame oil.

The mushrooms are great with white or brown rice. I also like to add a hit of Sriracha. If you want a more colorful presentation with some textural contrast, serve them over some plain steamed bok choy, napa cabbage, or another crispy vegetable.

Either way, they’re a bit chewy, sweetly caramelized, and, if you add the Sriracha, a little spicy. Those are some of the same qualities you might look for in a meat dish. But you won’t get kicked out the scene.