A dish I cooked and first published back in 2016 when my older daughter, Sam, decided to become a vegetarian. She isn’t anymore (she still doesn’t eat mammals though) but this dish is just so good I’ve kept it in my repertoire.
What inspired this recipe? When Sam asked if I could cook beef broccoli but with mushrooms instead of beef, I didn’t have to ask her to elaborate. I knew exactly what she meant — a stir fry with tender-crisp broccoli florets smothered with a sauce thickened with starch.
Beef broccoli was one of Sam’s favorite Chinese dishes before she turned vegetarian. So, I obliged her. And I decided to make her even happier by using two mushroom varieties — meaty and earthy button mushrooms, and the more flavorful and texture-rich shiitake.
To add even more depth to the vegan stir fried mushrooms and broccoli, I took extra time and effort with the aromatics. I cooked the shallots over medium-low heat until caramelized before adding the garlic. I sautéed the shallots and garlic together for another minute and, when the fragrance filled the kitchen, I added the rest of the ingredients. Finally, the sauce mixed with starch was poured in.
- 4 to 6 button mushrooms
- 4 to 6 shiitake mushrooms caps only
- 2 to 3 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce (available in Asian groceries)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch or corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon sesame seed oil
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
- Slice the mushrooms. Not too thin. About a quarter inch thick is just fine.
- Peel and roughly chop the shallots.
- Peel, pound and mince the garlic.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Over medium-low heat, sweat the chopped shallots until softened.
- Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute.
- Turn up the heat to high.
- Add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with pepper. Stir fry for a minute.
- Add the broccoli florets. Stir fry for another minute.
- Mix together the soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sugar, starch and sesame seed oil with half a cup of water and pour into the pan. Stir quickly.
- Continue cooking for another minute or just until the sauce is thickened and the broccoli florets are done but still with lots of crisp in them.
- Optionally, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve at once.