Thai Red Curry with Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms have a firm texture and are brilliant at absorbing other flavourings which is perhaps why they are used so widely in Asian cooking. This curry is based on an authentic Thai recipe, but takes the shortcut of using a ready-made curry paste – now widely available in most larger supermarkets along with other Thai ingredients such a lime leaves, fish sauce and birdseye chillies. If you can’t find the required ingredients in your local shops, you may need to forage further afield in an Asian supermarket – and if you do, you should take the opportunity to grab some morning glory (also known as water spinach or Thai watercress, or across Southeast Asia as kankong or in China as ong choi). This spinach-like vegetable has a delicious flavour and succulent, crunchy stems that add a nice texture to the curry – but if you can’t find it just use baby spinach leaves.
This makes enough for two people with boiled rice (sticky, fragrant jasmine rice would be perfect), but will feed more if part of a larger selection of dishes.
- 250g grey oyster mushrooms
- 1 × 400ml can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (try to find a Thai brand)
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar or palm sugar
- 1–2 birdseye chillies, or to taste
- 200g morning glory or baby spinach
- Using a pastry or mushroom brush, clean the oyster mushrooms. Trim the stems and cut or tear any large ones into 4cm slices.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of the solids on the top of the coconut milk into a medium pan and set over a high heat. Add the red curry paste and vegetable oil and simmer rapidly until the oil separates and pools around the edges. Add the remaining coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
- Bring to the boil, then add the prepared mushrooms. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, depending on the mushrooms’ thickness, until they are cooked through but still holding their shape.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the flavourings as you see fit – you may need to add more soy sauce, fish sauce, lime, sugar, or some sliced chillies to increase the heat. Simmer for a minute longer, then serve.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK