Oyster mushrooms might be my most consumed variety; I eat them at least once a week in any number of ways. My favorite is crisped in the form of a steak or in place of chicken as shawarma (either heaped over rice or salad… or even in a pita). But recently I’ve been exploring more ways to incorporate them into even heartier dishes.
I decided to try them in place of traditional chicken for cacciatore, but halfway through ditched the effort in place of a mushroom heavy penne. The key to cooking oyster mushrooms is patience, even if you clean them with a brush versus a rinse and extended dry. They naturally produce a lot of water, and may need to be drained a couple of times before they start to crisp. Avoid adding any oil until the water has cooked out. Then add few tablespoons to get them nice and crisp.
Keep moving them around the pan until you get a nice crisp, and make sure to season them (even separate from the rest of your ingredients). The other thing to remember is to treat these mushrooms like spinach: however much you think you need… DOUBLE IT.
Once the water has cooked out, the volume will reduce at least by half. Once your mushrooms have cooked down, set them aside. Then cook up your aromatics, and add the mushrooms back in. Add fresh basil, tomatoes and your choice of sauce (best to make your own, but I get it if you don’t have time). Let simmer for a few minutes and toss with brown rice penne (Jovial is my favorite brand).
This dish passed my husband’s taste test (he’s a bit on the picky side when it comes to mushrooms), so I’m confident that it’s a solid recipe. You can download the full recipe below. Enjoy!