And now for the real part of the post. Mushroom scallops. This concept was baffling, confusing, intriguing, and a little upsetting when I first read about it over at The Chubby Vegetarian. I couldn't resist though. This concept is what hooked me onto this Memphis photojournalist's food blog and it quickly became my favorite blog.... ever. I am even over coming an extreme sense of ego to say this. Like most bloggers, I adore my page. But this guy..... Well, his pictures are amazingly drool-worthy, and he is beyond creative with vegetarian fare. The thing I like most, is that the vegetarian and vegan friendly recipes never seemed forced. He presents his food in a perfectly natural way that I often forget there is never any meat. Seriously head over there and check out stuff, you will not be disappointed!
The mushroom scallops were a must try though. I've been obsessing over the idea for months now. The only problem was, where the hell do I find king oyster mushrooms?! Problem solved. Last Saturday we strolled into the Bangkok Market off of Armory Dr in Nashville. This little store is magical; I wondered why I had never been there before. After talking to the owner I found out. They opened last Thursday. They had been in business literally 50 hours when I walked in. I saw the mushrooms and snatched some up immediately ($3.49/lb)!
I was absolutely blown away by these milky white beauties. The flavor is more reminiscent of seafood than mushrooms, but very mild. And they even have the appearance of the the vertical muscle fibers of scallops. Although, don't expect the texture of a scallop. The larger, fatter mushrooms and the big ends farthest away from the tops have a slightly tough bite to them. Not unappetizing in the least, but just so you know.
Crazy, right?! Those are seriously mushrooms!
Mushroom Scallops with Asparagus and Udon Noodles
2 king oyster mushrooms
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
~3 oz dried udon noodles (one bundle)
1/2 bunch of asparagus
1/2 oz dried shitakes
1 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
juice of 2 clementines (about 1/4 C)
2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated ginger
sea salt and pepper
Clean and trim mushrooms. Cut into 1 inch slices (about 4 slices per mushroom). Score top and bottom of each slice. Use 1-2 tsp to brush tops and bottom of slices. Liberally salt and pepper. Heat ~1 Tbsp oil over medium/med-high heat. Sear mushrooms for 2 1/2-3 minutes a side.
Reconstitute shitakes according to package. Add liquid to pot for cooking noodles. Cook udon according to package directions. Drain.
Combine soy, sesame oil, juice, garlic and ginger.
Clean and trim asparagus. Saute for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add shitakes and the sauce mixture. Allow sauce to reduce by 1/3. Add udon noodles. Cook another 2-3 three minutes so sauce absorbs into noodles.
Better view of stir-fry.
AND because I am in love and I feel you need to see the product of my absence:
"Pura Vida" was existing. Top three flowers are finished, bottom two are not.
Chip Rutz at Absolute Ink in Murfreesboro, TN is a fuckin' GENIUS!!!