Black Mushrooms Meet Bamboo Shoots in Brown Sauce
A Taste of Old Shanghai
This is a basic simmered brown sauce recipe,, originally from Shanghai. The Chinese name, Chao Shuang Dong, 炒雙冬means “braised two winter vegetables.” Many different vegetables may be used, as well as Bean Curd. It is so versatile, delicious and easy to make that it’s a bit surprising that the recipe appears so little known outside of China. Here;s a basic standard formulation:
Stir-Fried Bamboo Shoots and Mushrooms
Ffesh Bamboo Shoots
2 Green Onions
12 whole fresh Mushrooms
1½ cup Mushroom Water or Stock
½ tablespoon Chinese Wine
1 finger fresh Ginger
Cornstarch and Water for thickening
In addition there are two Special Mixtures:
Mixture No. 1
2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
Mixture No. 2
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Sugar
When ready to prepare this dish, we need to lay out the ingredients, including the Mixtures. Canned Bamboo Shoots can be used if fresh are not available. For the Mushrooms, you can use the dried black Shiitake type mushrooms, in which case, you need to soak them first in some warm water. This will produce Mushroom Water for use in cooking.
Cut the Bamboo in half lengthwise and then cut into half inch slices. Or you may cut into triangular pieces if preferred. Cut the Green Onions into short lengths, about an inch long. A few Carrot slices or butterflies add color to this dish. Another attractive garnish can be made using Green Bell Peppers or Red Bell Peppers, or a combination of both, blanching with hot water, draining, and cutting into rectangles, rhomboid or triangular shapes.
Peel the Ginger and chop finely.
Put each of the Mixture in a small dish, near the stove top.
To cook the dish, put the Ginger into 2 tablespoons of hot Oil.
Add the Mushrooms, Bamboo and Carrot or Bell Pepper garnish, if you are using them. Then add the Wine and Stock or Mushroom Water.
Add Mixture No. 2 and bring to a boil.
Lower the fire and simmer, covered, until the sauce is reduced to half a cup.
When the vegetables are cooked (this will take only a few minutes, so be careful not to overcook), add the Green Onion sections and Mixture No. 1 and bring to a boil again.
Finally, thickened with a bit of Cornstarch dissolved in Water, float a tablespoon of Oil, such as Sesame Oil on top and serve immediately.