The last time when I stumbled upon fresh tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇) , I cooked this. Since then, they have not been seen around the market, I’ll even consider myself lucky to be able find the dried versions, as most of the stores are carrying the more popular dried shitake varieties.
So once I get my hands on a packet, I start to plan on the dishes to make with it. Once the packaging is opened, it is important to store the dried mushrooms in airtight containers, or even better, in the fridge. Otherwise they will lose their aroma over time. Still, there is no reason to cling on to them for too long, leaving them uncooked in the fridge. After all, I buy them to cook and eat, not for display. I hope to finish up the 150g packet in 2 weeks, or shorter if possible.
After washing the tea tree mushrooms under a running tap to remove dust /dirt, soak these tea tree mushrooms in water, leaving it overnight in the fridge. The long thin stalks tend to be the hardest portion, and need a longer soaking time than regular shitake mushrooms. I usually reserve the liquid used for soaking any dried mushrooms, and use it in stir fries or soups.
TEA TREE MUSHROOM PASTA STIR FRY
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely - 40g tea tree mushrooms, soak to soften - Cooked pasta of your choice - Dried herbs - Sea salt and black pepper, to taste - 2 tablespoons olive oil - Liquid reserved from soaking mushrooms
01. Squeeze out water from the tea tree mushrooms. Trim away the ends. Chop them into roughly 2 cm length. Set aside.
02. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
03. Fry chopped garlic till fragrant, and add dried herbs.
04. Add chopped mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of mushroom stock reserved from liquid used to soak mushrooms in. Stir around to cook the mushrooms.
05. Add cooked pasta, stir to mix well with the mushrooms.
06. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
07. Transfer to serving plates. Drizzle paa with more olive oil.
08. Serve immediately.