{how to} Mike’s Crispy Shiitakes

My Dad is good at cooking quite a few different things, but his shiitake mushrooms have got to be one of my all-time favorites. The thing about my Dad is that he loves the good things in life, so if he thinks that a whole mess of olive oil and butter will make mushrooms better, then he won’t be shy about making that happen. The main problem with these is that they shrink down so much so there are never enough and we always end up fighting over them!

They are best with shiitake (or their close relative, maitake) mushrooms, chopped pretty small. Basically you want a mushroom that is thinner and more papery rather than a meatier mushroom. But if you really must, you can even use regular brown crimini mushrooms, as long as they are sliced very thinly.

So what can you put these on? Basically, everything. Scrambled eggs, a burger, a steak, fish, pasta, rice, whatever. Or you can just eat them like chips – that’s what usually ends up happening in my house.

HOW TO: Mike’s Crispy Shiitakes
Yield is adjustable – 1 cup of chopped raw mushrooms will yield about 1/4 cup of cooked mushrooms

  • Roughly but finely chop shiitake (or maitake) mushrooms (they don’t have to be pretty, but there shouldn’t be any pieces bigger than a quarter)
  • Put a couple of healthy glugs of olive oil in a non-stick saute pan and heat it over medium high heat. Don’t be shy with the oil here!
  • Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Be careful not to over-salt, as the mushrooms will shrink down a lot. You can always add more salt later!
  • Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are wilted and fragrant. If they seem sad and dry, add more oil.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of butter and continue cooking until crispy (total time should be about 10-20 minutes.)
  • Remove to a plate and serve hot or at room temperature.
  • To make it vegan or dairy-free, just omit the butter and add more olive oil instead.

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