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When my daughter was about 5 years old, she suddenly refused to eat mushrooms.
I blame it all to my husband for calling them “fungus” over a dinner table one day. “Look what we got. Fungus for dinner!” I was serving some mushrooms on the side. He was not (and still is not) a mushroom guy. Ever since then my daughter tattooed the idea ‘mushroom = fungus = gross’ in her brain for the next 7 years.
Not every fungus is created equal. Some fungus-es are bad, of course. But mushrooms (the edible kinds) are the good guys.
Luckily my daughter grew out of her fear of eating the edible fungus. She enjoys them in many dishes now (Thanks to her mother’s countless efforts to feed her good food… :)).
This is a simple one dish meal. So don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients. They can be put together lightening fast.
You will savor the aroma of fall mushrooms from the moment you open the pot. I used minced pork in the topping sauce but you can certainly use ground beef instead.
Lovely fungus, aren’t they?
Anyway, bring them to boil.
That’s all. This topping sauce is delicious enough to eat with just plain rice.
Scoop the rice in a serving bowl and top with the meat sauce. Mix it up, folks!! You just got a delicious yet healthy meal in your hand.
And you are supposed to give big thanks to all the fungus in the world. The culinary world would not be the same without them.
- 2 cups short grain rice (preferably Korean), rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes, and drained
- 6-8 dried shiitaki mushrooms, soaked in water for 2 hours
- 1 package (about 5 oz, 150g) oyster mushrooms
- 1 package (about 3.5 oz, 100g) bunapi or enoki mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
- 2.5 cups mushroom soaking water
- 1 large piece of dried sea kelp
- 1/3 lb ground pork or ground beef
- 1/2 cup water
- 7 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Korean plum extract, optional
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 3 green onion finely chopped
- 1 red chili, seeded and chopped
- Make sure your rice is soaked at least 30 minutes and drained well.
- Take the shiitaki mushrooms out of its soaking water and squeeze out the excess water. Reserve 2.5 cups of the soaking water. Slice the shiitaki mushrooms into bite size pieces.
- Cut off the bottom end of other mushroom stems to remove dirt. Separate the mushrooms to bite size pieces.
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and put rice in. Toast rice until they are coated with oil, about 30 -60 seconds. Pour the reserved mushroom soaking water and the sea kelp. When the water boil and bubbles up, remove the sea kelp. Add the mushrooms and close the lid. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit on the stove for 5 more minutes.
- Open the lid and gently toss the rice and mushrooms together to incorporate. Serve warm with meat chili sauce to mix with.
- Brown the ground pork (or beef) with a little oil until no longer pink over a medium heat.
- Pour water and let it simmer until the water reduces to half. Turn off the heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.