Thursday, July 30, 2009

Braised Tatsoi with Dried Oyster Mushrooms

It's been a rainy garden season here in upstate New York. Something about the jet stream dipping high into our part of the meteorological map, so we're getting a daily shower or two all summer long. It's great for the greens and everyone's flowers and lawns look lovely. But we have yet to have a red tomato, one of life's great garden pleasures. Even the cherry tomato plant has not produced anything except green marbles. I guess we need a blast of sunny days.

Here's a mini garden tour of what is exploding in a vegetable madness. We have lots of cilantro, dill, and other herbs, some Bachelor's Buttons (for the pollinators), and rows of mustard and other mixed greens which are flowering because I haven't gotten out there often enough to trim and eat them:

There are the first tiny yellow string beans, some kale and lots of pickling cucumbers which we've been slinging into salads and making into refrigerator pickles:

And then there are two beautiful rows of glossy tatsoi which have really enjoyed this rainy weather. Tatsoi is an Asian member of the Brassica family of vegetables and is a beautiful plant that produces a pretty rosette of dark green leaves on crunchy white stalks. It had a little problem with flea beetle damage when the plants were small, but it shot up quickly after that little setback and we have tons to harvest now. I previously shared a recipe for Tatsoi with Mushrooms and Indian Spices and now have another recipe which used up a packet of dried oyster mushrooms we had in the pantry.

Braised Tatsoi with Dried Oyster Mushrooms

3 heads tatsoi (makes about 5 cups of leaves)

1 oz. dried oyster mushrooms
1 cup boiling water

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 (one inch) piece gingerroot, peeled and minced

2 Tbsp. Peanut oil

Separate tatsoi into leaves. Rinse and soak tatsoi several times to remove all dirt. Trim stems and let drain in colander.

Cover dried mushrooms with 1 cup boiling water and let soak 10 minutes. When mushrooms are soft, remove them and crush them in your hands to remove moisture. Chop fine and set aside. Reserve mushroom liquid.

Mix cornstarch, sesame oil, and soy sauce together in small bowl. Add in 2 tsp. reserved mushroom liquid and blend into a paste. Reserve this sauce for stir-frying later.

Heat wok or large skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil and heat 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stirring, and saute 1-2 minutes, taking care not to let garlic burn. Add tatsoi and cook, stirring, to coat leaves with oil. Let wilt down a bit, about 3-4 minutes of cooking time.

Add remaining reserved mushroom liquid and chopped mushrooms and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover wok, and let simmer until tatsoi is tender, another 4-5 minutes.

Remove cover, add sauce ingredients and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. Season with additional soy sauce if needed and serve hot.

Makes 4-5 servings. Great over rice for a quick vegetarian dinner.

This recipe is being submitted to Anna's Cool Finds for Weekend Herb Blogging #194. This weekly blogging event celebrates members of the Vegetable Kingdom and was started three years ago by Kalyn's Kitchen. It is now headquartered at Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once.


ARLENE said...

Loved the garden tour, Rachel. I've never heard of tatsoi. You certainly are giving me an education. I have to make sure my vegetarian friend checks out your site.

momgateway said...

Your garden is so inspiring. I wish I had a garden like yours. Mine is just a container garden where I grow basil, shallots, tomatoes, okra, limes but no leafy veggies.

Sophie said...

I love coming over here to stare at the pics of your beautiful garden. I'm currently listening to online classical radio (from Boston) and hear that it's also raining over there. I can't wait to go back to the east coast :).