Plates to pick you up: Shiitake mushroom adobo
The key flavours of Filipino adobo are garlic, vinegar, black pepper, soy sauce and bay leaf. I grew up on chicken adobo. This mushroom version is super delicious and simple. Traditionally, adobo is served with white rice, which I’ve made extra delicious by cooking in coconut milk, but some of my Filipino aunties (my Titas) will tell you that they have adopted quinoa later in life and love it as much as rice!
TAKES 30 minutes
4–6 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
300g shiitake mushrooms (or something equally special and firm such as oyster), roughly sliced
300g chestnut or button mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 small red onions, diced
4 big garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
1½–2 tsp black pepper (to taste)
5 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp coconut sugar
Some sliced cucumber or 1 big handful of watercress, to serve
1 fried egg per person (if you’re feeling hungry!)
A squeeze of your favourite chilli sauce
2 tsp coconut oil or ghee
250g white basmati rice, well rinsed
¼ tsp sea salt
400ml tin of coconut milk
- For the coconut rice, melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Add the rice and salt and stir well to coat it in the hot oil. Cook for a minute. Turn up the heat. Add the coconut milk, then stir well, pop a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer without removing the lid (as steam will escape and cooking will be disrupted). After 8 minutes of simmering, check if the rice needs more water. If it does, add a few tablespoons of hot water. Cook for another 4 minutes (12 minutes in total) until all the liquid has been absorbed, then remove from the heat, with the lid still on the pan, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- For the mushroom adobo, heat up a large wok or deep-sided frying pan and melt 1 tablespoon of the ghee. Tumble in half of the shiitake mushrooms, add a little pinch of salt, stir to coat in the hot ghee and then fry, undisturbed, on a high heat for 2 minutes before turning and frying for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Liquid will be released as they fry and the mushrooms will take on a firmer, meatier texture.
- Using the same pan, repeat with the rest of the mushrooms, adding a little more ghee, if needed, plus another little pinch of salt, and set aside.
- Heat up another tablespoon of the ghee and fry the onion on a medium heat for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the black pepper, tamari or soy sauce, vinegar and sugar and simmer gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes to thicken and reduce a little, then add the mushrooms and simmer for another 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning: you might want to add a little more pepper.
- Remove from the heat and serve with the coconut rice and some sliced cucumber or watercress. I like a fried egg too.