Peach Gum, 4 ways

Peach Gum, 4 ways // Mono + Co

First, a note to self: peach gum expands 8 to 10 times in volume after soaking, so remember not to soak too many pieces next time.

Obviously, I forgot the lesson last time, repeated the same mistake and ended up with a very huge bowl of soaked peach gum after 2 nights in the fridge.  The hard crystals softened into a gelatinous texture that is very convincing as a collagen booster food.  Since peach gum is tasteless and I have no idea how much longer can it last inside the fridge, I decided to cook as much as possible in one day and leave the remaining to make a pot of this longan and peach gum dessert for tomorrow.  Yup, I have that much, so here we go:

Peach Gum, 4 ways // Mono + Co

++ Honey Lemon Peach Gum Drink ++

I got this idea from the popular bottled collagen drink in the market.  Since I don’t consume animal derived collagen, adding peach gum to my homemade honey lemon juice sounds like a good substitute. Delicious when served chilled.

P.S. I am not sure if peach gums can be eaten without cooking first, but I steamed the soaked gum for 15 minutes just to be safe.

Peach Gum, 4 ways // Mono + Co

++ Banana Milk Shake with Peach Gum ++

I was clearing some brown bananas into milk shake for my kids and decided to blend some steamed peach gums with the banana and milk as well.

Peach Gum, 4 ways // Mono + Co

++ Dashi Vegetable Soup with Peach Gum ++

Since the peach gum is tasteless, I am not limiting my collagen intake to just desserts.  I have cooked this meatless “trotter” vinegar with peach gum before, so I can surely add them to savory soups.  I made kombu dashi stock like this, add apples, onions, corn, and carrots and simmer for 1 hour.  The kombu from making dashi can be eaten, so don’t throw them away after making the stock.  After an hour, remove apple and onion from the pot, season with soy sauce, add soaked peach gum and boil for another 15 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

Peach Gum, 4 ways // Mono + Co

++  Udon Soup with Enoki Mushroom and Peach Gum ++

With leftover vegetable dashi stock, it’s easy to create this late afternoon snack.  Heat up the soup, add enoki mushrooms, peach gum and miso paste (optional).  In a serving bowl, place udon (cooked separately in another pot) and pour soup over it, top with a bunch of cilantro leaves.  Serve immediately.








Tea Tree Mushroom + Tofu

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I am not sure what these 茶树菇/柳松茸 are called in English, but “velvet pioppini” popped up under wiki.  They look like shimeji mushrooms with longer stems and flatter caps.  I usually get the dried ones for stews and soups because of the rich umami flavor.

These fresh ones were found at a Taiwan produce fair.  Since the mushrooms are already full of flavor, I simply stir fry them with oyster sauce, and top them on silken tofu to make a dish for pairing with my staple white rice.

- 1 small handful of tea tree mushrooms, about 100g
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 package of silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1.5 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 cup of water
- white pepper, to taste
- few drops of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of corn flour, mixed with 2 tablespoon of water.
- for garnish: chopped spring onion


01. Trim off the ends of the mushrooms, and wash them thoroughly.  Drain, set aside.
02. Heat up the tofu by steaming it for 10 minutes, drain water released from the steamed tofu and place it on a serving dish.
03. Mix oyster sauce and water in a bowl.
04. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil in a heated wok, once it smoke, add in chopped garlic and cook till soft, but not brown.
05. Add in tea tree mushrooms, stir fry for about 30 seconds with medium heat.
06. Pour in oyster sauce and water mixture, continue to stir, till the sauce starts to boil and bubble, about 2-3 minutes, for the mushrooms to be cooked.
07. Add a dash of pepper and sesame oil.  Turn down the fire to low, taste, and adjust to preference.
08. Mix the corn flour solution well, before adding it to the mushrooms to thicken the sauce, stirring to cook all the while.
09. Simmer till the sauce thickens, then pour it over the steamed tofu.
10. Garnish with chopped spring onions. Serve immediately.

Mushroom Bulgogi

mushroom bulgogi

These oyster mushrooms make a very satisfying meatless version of Dak (Chicken) Bulgogi.  The sauce recipe is a keeper, use it to team with firm tofu, or use it to stir fry an assortment of mushrooms like shitake, enoki etc.

Unlike the chicken, the fresh king oyster mushrooms will soak up the sauce like sponges when they are still uncooked.  So I skipped the marinating step, and stir fried the mushrooms with the sauce instead.

Adapted from HERE
- 1 packet of big oyster mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- dash of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


01. Combine all the items except the mushroom together in a medium bowl, whisk till brown sugar dissolves.

02. Preheat skillet over medium heat.

03. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil, and mushrooms into the skillet.  Stir the mushrooms around the skillet to cook them till fragrant.

04. When the mushrooms are cooked, pour in the sauce in step 1, and stir quickly around to coat them with the sauce.  Add 1 -2 tablespoons of hot water if it is too dry.

05.  Garnish with more sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Veggie Tempeh Sub

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The first time I bought “fresh” (those wrapped in banana leaf and newspaper) tempeh from wet market, I thought it had turned moldy and threw it away.  Little did I know that these fermented soy beans are ranked so high on nutritional scale because of these “moldy” qualities.  Since then, they have turned up pretty regularly on my grocery list.

Besides deep-frying them to make tasty crispy snacks, tempeh is also great as a meat replacement patty.  The trick is to marinate the tempeh to taste “meaty” and saute till brown after.  Garlic powder, Worcestershire or BBQ sauce are great for that purpose.  I boil the tempeh slices first before dipping them in marinate so that they can absorb the sauce better when they are still hot.  After topping up with mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts (another superfood!) and caramelised onions, my kids can’t even tell that there is no meat in this sandwich.

Makes 1 sandwich
- 2 tempeh slices
- 1 Ciabatta bread
- Olive Oil
Tempeh Marinate :
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- Cheddar cheese slices
- 1 big portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 yellow onions, sliced
- Alfalfa sprouts


01. Mix marinate ingredients in a saucer, set aside.
02. Cook tempeh in boiling water for about 3 minutes, remove tempeh from water place in marinate sauce.  Prick tempeh with fork a few times and marinate for about 10 to 30 minutes.
03. In a heated pan with olive oil, saute onion slices till they turn soft over medium heat.
04. Add portobello mushrooms and continue to saute, add more oil if necessary.
05. Once onion slices have caramelised and mushrooms turn soft, remove from pan and set aside.
06. Add some oil to the pan, and saute marinated tempeh on both sides.


01. Slice Ciabatta bread into half, and toast with cheddar slices. Place tempeh slices.
02. Add saute mushrooms and onions.  I added some chopped uncooked onions as well for some crunch.
03. Lastly, top with alfalfa sprouts and serve immediately.