Mushroom Masters: Shiitake Showdown
Hello mushroom fans! We are now half way through our Mushroom Masters: A Tournament of Taste competition. In this third week of our global challenge, our three bloggers have taken on the meaty, full-bodied Shiitake mushroom. Representing the U.S. in full fungi force is Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy—yes, everything on her blog is as fun as its name!
Just like last week, we will need your vote for Susan’s just-in-time-for-Fall Shiitake pork dumplings recipe on Tastespotting, so don’t forget to show her your tasty patriotism!
Shiitake-Pork Dumplings in Shiitake Mushroom Broth (by Susan Filson)
For the broth:
3 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
2-3 cups boiling water to cover
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, whole
1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, outer layers and dark top removed
1/2 cup julienned carrots
2 cups baby bok choy, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
Salt to taste
1/2 cup sliced scallions for garnish
For the dumplings:
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup minced scallions
Reserved dried shiitake mushroom caps (about 5), finely minced
Reserved 1/2 pound fresh, sliced shiitake mushroom caps, finely minced (You can do this in the food processor.)
1/2 pound ground pork
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup silken tofu
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 cup warm water
1 16-oz. package dumpling wrappers (look for the Twin Marquis brand, Hong Kong style)
To make the broth:
Place dried shiitakes in a bowl and pour boiling water on top. Set aside and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain the mushrooms over a second bowl, pressing out and reserving all liquid. Pull off and discard the shiitake stems. Finely mince caps and set aside for dumplings.
Separate stems from fresh shiitakes and thinly slice mushroom caps. Set aside.
Bring broth and reserved mushroom liquid to a simmer in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add stems, garlic, ginger and lemongrass, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain mixture into clean pot, using a sieve lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Bring back to a simmer and add 1/2 of the sliced shiitakes, carrots and bok choy and simmer for 15 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in rice vinegar and keep hot until ready to serve.
Makes approximately 8 cups of broth.
To make the dumplings:
Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are tender and any liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
Pulse the pork in a food processor a few times to loosen it up and give it a smoother consistency. Place pork in a large bowl and mix in cornstarch, tofu, salt, sugar, sesame oil, wine, oyster sauce and cooled mushroom mixture, incorporating well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can do this step ahead and keep in the fridge overnight.
To form the dumplings, remove 1 wonton wrapper from the package, covering the others with a damp cloth. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Holding the dumpling wrapper flour side down, place a teaspoonful of filling onto the middle of the wrapper. Fold dumpling in half, crimping it in the middle and sealing along the moistened edge, taking care not to leave any air pockets. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone. Keep finished dumplings on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with a damp dishtowel to keep them from drying out.
To steam the dumplings, fill a wok or pot with about 1 inch of water. Bring water to a simmer. Prepare a steamer lined with parchment paper. Spray parchment lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Place as many dumplings as will fit into the steamer, without touching each other. Place steamer over the wok or pot, cover and steam dumplings for about 10-12 minutes, until pork is cooked through.
Remove the dumplings from the steamer to a heatproof platter and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.
To serve, place 3 or 4 dumplings each in individual bowls. Ladle mushroom broth over dumplings and garnish with fresh sliced scallions.
Makes approximately 48 dumplings. Serves 8.