Fry

Vegetarian Mock Eel

December 29, 2016
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

From Chef Josh Grinker of Kings County Imperial. —Sarah Jampel

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 3 as a snack/appetizer
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 cups boiling water (or enough to cover)
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and mince
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Combine mushrooms and water in a bowl; let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms and squeeze dry. (Save the mushroom soaking liquid: You can add it to your next soup or sauce. Just save it in the fridge in a covered container and find a use for it in about a week—or freeze it for up to 3 months.) Using scissors, starting from the outside perimeter and turning the mushroom, cut one long 1/4-inch strand of mushroom. Don’t worry if it breaks, but the goal is to get it as long as possible.
  2. Heat 2 inches of oil in a flat-bottomed wok or frying pan with sides until it reads 350° F on a deep-fry thermometer. Toss mushrooms with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, making sure to shake off any excess cornstarch. Working in batches, fry mushrooms until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to paper towels to drain. Make a slurry by mixing together 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon water.
  3. Discard all but about 1 tablespoon oil from wok; heat over medium-high. Cook three-quarters of scallions and the ginger until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon water (you could also use vegetable or chicken stock here).
  4. Slowly add slurry; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes (if it is too thick, add more water). Stir in reserved mushrooms; cook 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter; garnish with remaining scallions.

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Review
Sarah Jampel

Recipe by: Sarah Jampel

A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.