I first deconstructed this dish when Portobello mushrooms and Balsamic vinegar were the rage (kind of tells you how long I’ve been making this). I tasted something similar at a restaurant (it was one of their signature dishes).
After tinkering a bit, I came up with my own version. I once made it for a potluck that Aunty M was hosting. She usually makes everyone make plates to take home (she doesn’t want so much leftovers). When I went to claim the mushrooms, I found out she squirreled it away (didn’t get any to take home, sigh).
Going to a potluck with friends this weekend. Instead of just Portobello mushrooms, I use a variety (whatever looks good and reasonable at the time).
Clockwise from top left rehydrated Shiitake, fresh Shiitake, white, and Portobello mushrooms.
I tried this dish with canned mushrooms once, bleh.
I think the restaurant only used Balsamic vinegar. I use a variety, just to give the dish a unique taste. This time around, I’m using three different vinegar (and Shao Xing wine).
From left, Kaoliang vinegar ( from Taiwan), Shao Xing wine, Balsamic vinegar (the cheap stuff), and Chinkiang vinegar (from Zhen Jiang city, China). At other times, I’ve also used apple cider vinegar, and Japanese rice vinegar.
I also add some dried citrus peel to the mix.
I usually have dried orange peel on hand, this time I had Yuzu, orange, and lemon.
I start off by reducing the vinegar with sugar, a slice of ginger, a sprinkle of chili powder, and a touch of salt. Two parts Balsamic to one part each of the other two (total a little over one cup). Dissolved about four tablespoons of sugar and a touch of salt. Reduced to about three-fourth of a cup. I find that if I don’t make the reduction, the sauce at the end is to watery (the mushrooms release lots of liquid during the cooking process). After the vinegar is taken off the heat, add less than a quarter teaspoon (total), of the citrus peels (if you add them while cooking, they tend to turn bitter (my opinion).
Sauté mushroom in a bit of oil (I used peanut oil, I’ve also used olive oil, when available). Add the vinegar reduction when the mushrooms start to brown. Stir and braise for ten to fifteen minutes (when the mushrooms look cooked).
Let cool and refrigerate for at least one day. The vinegar mellows out and the sauce becomes rich and “mushroomy”, less of a pickled taste.
Balsamic Braised Mushrooms
This dish goes well with steak or chicken, on rice or with warm crusty bread. Drool. As a bonus, it’s totally vegetarian.
I’ve even used the leftover sauce to dress pasta salad (it’s not pretty, but very tasty).
I’ve always made this dish on the fly (first time actually writing the recipe down). The Cat said this is my first “signature dish”. :-)
I’m sending it over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday feature (you could call it a stew).
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