Spicy Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry

I know that lovers of mushrooms are (usually) HUGE fans of mushrooms and haters of mushrooms refuse to even look at the stuff. However, haters, if you've never had oyster mushrooms, I recommend you try them. They don't have that earthy, meaty flavor that's super pungent in hearty mushrooms like portabella and shiitake. Instead, they're basically sponges that will soak up the flavors of the spices and seasonings you want to add.

I like to prepare the oyster mushrooms as a Korean-esque side dish, à la ma maman (in the style of my mom).

1 package oyster mushrooms (yields about 2 cups, uncooked)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or canola or vegetable or what have you)
1 Korean long hot pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 or 3 scallions, chopped
Start by pulling apart the clusters of oyster mushrooms. Pull off each individual mushroom and rip up any bigger pieces so that they're bite-sized.
Pour oil and place sliced peppers in a cold skillet and then place over medium heat. This allows the peppers and oil to slowly heat up together so that the oil can absorb the spice from the peppers. When the oil starts to sizzle and the peppers begin to lose their crispness and grow limp, add in the mushrooms. Toss to coat in oil and then sprinkle on the hot pepper flakes. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar and toss. You could also stir the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and hot pepper flakes in a small container beforehand and add them all at once.
Toss until all of the ingredients are combined and the oyster mushrooms are brown from soaking up all the soy sauce.
At the end, toss on the chopped scallions and serve. I serve this as a banchan (side dish). You'll find that the mushrooms are tender with a salty, sweet, and spicy kick.


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