This is a simple classic Chinese home cooking dish. The highly concentrated flavour of shiitake mushrooms is the basis of Chinese and other Asian cooking. Whenever I use shiitake mushrooms in my gluten free cooking, I will always be reminded of my mum’s cooking, she often included shiitake mushrooms in soups, stews, stir-frys and even steamed dishes. Dried shiitake mushrooms will not only make any dish flavoursome, it is extremely healthy as well. I like to use shiitake mushrooms in Chinese glutinous rice, chicken and shiitake mushrooms rice, stir-frys, soups, stews, dumplings and steamed dishes like steamed fish or chicken. The options in preparing Asian cuisines using shiitake mushrooms are endless.
Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are often referred to as palatable mushrooms. They are considered a decaying fungus grown in the wild and have originated from China and Asia, dated all the way back for thousands of years. In addition, they are also exceedingly valued for their medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine and other Asian medicinal traditions.
Similar to all fungi, shiitake mushrooms contain phytonutrients, mainly their renowned polysaccharides, particularly lentinan that helps support our immune system by assisting in combating diseases and infection and prevent or reduce tumour growth. Eritadenine also helps in lowering cholesterol and maintain cardiovascular health. Similarly, shiitake mushrooms are also superb sources of essential nutrients like copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). A decent source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate/folic acid, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin D. Lastly, shiitake mushrooms are a good source of iron and antioxidants.
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 kg skinless and boneless chicken thighs trimmed and cut into 5cm to 6cm pieces
- 100 g dried shiitake mushrooms soak in hot water for 30 mins. Stalks removed and cut into quarters
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cm ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 star anise
- 5 cloves
- Steamed brown rice or basmati rice to serve
For the sauce:
- 5 tablespoons of gluten free thick soy sauce kecap manis (refer relevant recipe)
- 2 tablespoons of pale or medium dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon gluten free pure sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons water
For the Marinade:
- 1 tablespoon of gluten free light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of pale or medium dry sherry
- 1 ½ teaspoons gluten free corn maize starch
- 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
For the garnish:
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- Combine chicken with marinade in a large bowl and mix well. Reserve for about 20 minutes.
- Prepare and mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat up a wok with 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir-fry the garlic and ginger on low heat until lightly golden.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 5 minutes on medium to high heat. Then add the mushrooms, the sauce prepared, star anise and cloves and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low, cover with lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Serve with steamed brown rice or basmati rice.