King oyster mushrooms are by no means cheap but they are definitely worth the money. The texture and delicate flavour are an absolute delight. There’s lots of ways to cook them from fried in butter to being used as a vegan substitute for scallops. This is the method I used for my beauties.
S(erves two as a side dish)
2 or 3 king oyster mushrooms, depending on size
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons black Chinese vinegar (Chinkiang vinegar)
Honey to taste (about a tablespoon)
2 tsp cornflour mixed in a little cold water to a smooth paste
Some finely chopped fresh chilli & spring onion tops.
First make the sauce; mix all the liquid ingredients together until it has a salt/sweet/sour balance that suits your plate. Then heat it up and thicken it with the cornflour, adding half to begin with and the rest if it needs it. Have the sauce as thick or thin as you like it but it’s nice if it’s thick enough to cling to the mushrooms.
Slice each mushroom into three slices length ways and score the pieces with a sharp knife (not strictly necessary but it does look nice). Pour a little oil into a non stick pan and sear the mushroom slices in batches so you can concentrate on getting a good sear on the slices. They will arch up in the same way a piece of fish would and need holding down flat to get an even sear. I do this with a metal potato masher. Keep searing and turning, adding more oil if you need to until they have a good colour.
Arrange on a dish, pour over the sauce and scatter over the chilli & spring onion.