Zucchini enoki stir-fry, meet the Aliens

 Okay….. you can tell the green and yellowish chunks are the zucchini slices. 
But what in the world are those yucky brown thingy that looks like worms? 
The answer : They are the aliens from a galaxy far far away!!!
Have you ever wondered if there will be any other living creatures in our galaxy?  A planet just like the Earth, will there be another human race dwelling in? Will there be aliens? What would they look like? Will they attack us? Those were big concerns I had today. Silly me!
I would like to introduce you two different alien groups. The first ones are;

These are the clone troupers from a galaxy far far away. They are called Korean wild Enoki mushrooms (팽이버섯). Yes, they are mushrooms. Do you want to see the close ups?
Most enoki mushrooms you see at the stores are white and slender. They are cultivated ones in the dark under manipulated light which led to bone white color. The wild enokis have brown heads, shorter in length and have velvety stems. They have robust flavor.
Did I pick these guys from the wild, then? No, absolutely not!
One beauty of living in Hong Kong is that there are so many types of mushrooms available which I could not find easily in the U.S.  Most of the mushrooms are imported from either Korea or Japan, the two mushroom kingdoms. 
Enoki mushrooms are known for their power of boosting immune system in our body. They have tons of potassium and other minerals and vitamins. It should be noted that Nagano, Japan- the heart of Enoki agriculture, has a very low rate of cancer. The Enoki is said to be anti-viral, anti-bacteriological thereby providing a powerful immunological boost and it has been shown to have particularly positive effects in the treatment of prostate cancer and lymphoma.10
So look for these enoki mushrooms. They are good for you and your family.
These guys don’t last long in the fridge though, so you better use them soon.

Let me introduce you another alien that dwells in my fridge.
 What in the world is this? These tiny guys are fermented (pickled) baby shrimps(새우젓), widely used in Korean cooking. I use them in Kimchee, with vegetables, in soups, etc. They are packed in a small jar and needs to be refrigerated all the time. They can bring out lots of flavor in a dish but once cooked you won’t see their scary faces though. Because they melt away once you cook them. Kinda like Italian anchovies when cooked. Aren’t you glad?

So I am going to use these two aliens today to create delectable side dish for you. It is easy and fast to prepare. Too bad, my kids and the piano man just won’t eat mushrooms! But someday they will….
You will need; one head of enoki mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, fermented shrimp, olive oil, sesame seeds, sesame oil, green onion.
First, cut off these troupers from their mother ship, and discard the base.
You don’t need to wash these guys.
Just brush away any dirt if you need.
Cut the zucchini in half length wise and cut them in 1/4″ thick slices.
Chop the garlic, green onion, and fermented shrimps.
Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic for 5 seconds.
Add zucchini and the fermented shrimps. 
Continue to saute until zucchini gets tender crisp, about 2 minutes.
As you see, you don’t see the shrimps in the pan. 
They are melted already.
Add the mushrooms. They only need 30 seconds to cook.
Check the seasoning. You can add salt and pepper if you need.
Remove from heat.
Lastly add green onion, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.  Toss well.
How easy is that? and they taste pretty good.

“Eeeeeewww!…Mommy just cooked the earth worms!”
That was the response from my kids and can be yours, too.
Make sure you tell your family that they are edible aliens from a galaxy far away,
and they need to eat them to protect the earth from the bad clone troupers.
Keep our Earth safe!

Zucchini mushroom stir-fry
serves 4 as side dish
1 head of enoki mushrooms or other types of mushrooms such as oyster, shitaki, etc
1 zucchini
1T olive oil
1-2 garlic chopped
2t fermented shrimps (Korean) chopped
1/3C green onion chopped
1/2t sesame oil
1t sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Remove any dirt from enoki mushrooms using brush. Cut off the bottom and discard it. The mushrooms will fall apart from each other.
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and cut them into 1/4″ thick slices.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute garlic for 5 seconds and add zucchini slices and chopped fermented shrimps. Continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini gets crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 30 seconds or more. Remove the pan from heat. Add the green onion, sesame oil and seeds. Season with salt and pepper and Toss them well.
Serve warm.

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  1. 1

    Aesoon Lee says

    My mother used to make the zucchini with the small shrimps all the time. I am planning to make this dish for my daughter who turned vegetarian after watching the 'Earthlings' film.

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