Friday, February 11, 2011
Since getting married, I never went home for new year eve’s Reunion Dinner. Well, we’re not supposed to, cos once married you have to eat at your husband’s as you now belong to that family. I do know that many practise alternating or eat at both sides nowadays, but that is unless you stay a sea away (for alternate years) or stay within 30 mins drive to eat at both sides, and also provided it’s eating out where no work at home is done. But traditionally, it’s always at the husband’s side. I’ve never seen my mom going home for dinner. Neither do my sister in laws who stay walking distances away. They stay throughout the dinner and may drop by their parent’s house after that for a chat with their siblings, but never for reunion dinner. It’s an understood custom. My mom calls it a "LAW".
So, for 5 years, I’ve never had reunion dinner at home. At Mike’s place, we share the cooking work. His aunts will do some dishes and I’ll do some. And every year I wonder why is there no mushroom dishes. Is it that they do not know how to do it because since Mike’s grandma passed away, a lot of recipes followed in her footsteps too. So, I made this but not the version I had at home, as they don’t consume chicken feet.
I made up the recipe based on 2 persons. My 3rd uncle will always braise his mushrooms in garlic oil broth before he adds in other flavours and meat. My mom told me, dried oysters taste a lot better than oyster sauce and a few pieces in braises totally perks things up. And it so happened that I have some dried oysters and some scallops that has been sitting chilled in my fridge for almost 3 years.
Here, I present to you my maiden attempt in braising mushrooms and I’m very happy with the result. Flavourful and fragrant. I didn’t need to add any sugar as the scallop was sweet enough and I didn’t need any other sauces(besides the basic soy sauce) to season the dish as the oyster gave out so much flavour to the dish. I didn’t even use salt.
But, it was labled as “old people’s dish” when it arrived at the dinner location. The younger generation didn’t appreciate the dish but the older folks loved it. I was told that only Mike’s grandma will cook this, and since young my hubby will call it “old folk’s dish” and he said now he’s getting older already, he loved it. What a nice explanation. Huh! A far cry from my family where braised mushrooms are loved by the young and old.
I don’t think I’ll be cooking this for next year’s reunion dinner. If ever they ask for this dish again, I’ll do a much smaller portion. I think I’ll just fry chicken to feed those kids in their late 20’s next year.
Braised Mushrooms with Dried Scallop and Oysters
Recipe Source: Wendyywy
Serves 12-20 (depends on how much they eat)
200gm dried shitake/Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 1 hour or overnight
50gm dried oysters (10 pcs)
50gm dried scallops/conpoy (5 large pieces about 2cm diameter)
2 tbsp light soy sauce (30ml)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce (15ml)
1 Tbsp Shao Xing wine (15ml)
1 bulb of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 Tbsp cooking oil (you do need this amount of oil to make the mushrooms look shiny and taste smooth)
1 tsp cornstarch +3 tbsp water (may need more if not thick enough)
1. Clean mushrooms and snip smaller if they are too big. Squeeze mushrooms to remove excess water.
2. Rinse oysters and scallops.
3. Heat a heavy based pot and put in oil.
4. Put in chopped garlic and sauté until it smells fragrant, no need to be golden.
5. Put in cleaned mushrooms and stir until coated with oil.
6. Put in rinsed oysters and scallops, Stir to mix around.
7. Put in water, enough to cover mushrooms.
8. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and turn heat to low.
9. Braise for 2 hours. Check pot once a while to make sure the liquid in pot doesn’t dry up.
10. After 2 hours, season with soy sauces and Shao Xing wine.
11. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
12. Prepare cornstarch mixture and thicken gravy according to preference.
13. Dish up and garnish with blanched veggies.