This dish is inspired by a lunch I had at a restaurant specialising in Korean Royal Cuisine when I visited Seoul last year. That particular dish was Abalone with huai shan (aka wild yam), eryngii mushroom, ginko nuts and chestnut braised in an umami seafood sauce.
After that Royal Cuisine meal, I was already thinking of re-creating a vegetarian version with just the wild yam, eryngii mushroom and ginko nuts. As for the sauce, I had a vague idea, probably along the line of vegetable stock and vegetarian oyster sauce, but couldn't figure the umami kick I was looking for.
In case you are wondering, am I a vegetarian? Nope, I love my meat and seafood but sometimes I do like to explore vegetarian dishes using some of my favourite ingredients like fresh huai shan and eryngii mushroom.
Huai Shan 淮山 or Wild Yam 山药 or Nagaimo 長芋 (Japanese) has sweet and neutral properties and medicinal functions such as lower blood sugar and pressure, anti-aging, improve digestive system and so on.
Eryngii or king oyster mushroom 杏鮑菇 has naturally occuring anti-oxidants, rich in nutrients and minerals, doesn't have much taste on its own but once it's cooked, it has this earthy and meaty flavour which I love :)
So, thanks to Singapore Home Cooks and Huiji Waist Tonic for offering me a complimentary bottle of the tonic to try and introduce into dishes. After tasting the tonic, I thought the bittersweet tonic taste could work well in the sauce for my dish! And Huiji Waist Tonic itself has benefits such as strengthening the body and waist, as well as invigorating vital energy and blood. Best of all, it's suitable for vegetarians and even halal-certified!
In a pot, add vegetable stock, Huiji Waist Tonic, mirin, goji berries, sugar and salt (both to taste and optional), bring to boil, then thicken with corn starch water. That's it for the sauce.
In a frying pan, add olive or grapeseed oil, and pan fry sliced huai shan and eryngii mushroom till golden brown. Blanch the broccoli forets and ginko nuts (I bought canned ones which are already cooked).
Arrange the huai shan, eryngii, broccoli and ginko nuts in a shallow pan, pour the sauce over the ingredients, turn on stove and bring the mixture to boil on low heat and simmer for 5-10 mins. That's it!
Fresh Huaishan and Eryngii Mushroom 汇集鲜淮山杏鮑菇in Huiji Sauce
- 160-180g fresh huaishan, cut into 10 discs
- 1-2 stalks eryngii mushroom, cut into 15-16 slices
- 1 head broccoli, separate into stalks
- 8-10 pieces of cooked ginko nuts
- 1 tbsp goji berries, soak till softened
- 150ml vegetable stock
- 30ml Huiji Waist Tonic
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 1 tsp sugar (to taste, optional)
- Pinch salt (to taste, optional)
- 2 tsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water
- In a sauce pot, add vegetable stock, Huiji Waist Tonic, Mirin, sugar, salt and goji berries. Bring the mixture to boil. Add corn starch and stir to thicken the sauce slightly. Set the sauce aside.
- Blanch the broccoli and ginko nuts in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
- In a shallow pan, add olive or grapeseed oil, pan fry the sliced huai shan and eryngii mushroom till golden brown on both sides.
- Arrange all the ingredients neatly in the pan, pour the sauce over, bring the sauce to boil on low heat and simmer for 5-10 mins.
- The dish is ready to be served. Best eaten warm.
I must say I love this dish so much! The sauce really goes very well with all the ingredients and even enhances their natural flavours.
This dish is definitely an energy booster and healthy choice for vegetarians (and non-vegetarians alike)!