Tea Tree Mushroom + Tofu

teatreemushroomtofu001 teatreemushroomtofu005 teatreemushroomtofu006
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.

Dark Soy Chicken

darksoychicken // makingitblissful

If my “stir fry everyday” dishes seem skewed towards pleasing the palates of young children, that’s because I picked up cooking for my two young girls.  This recipe is adapted from Billy Law’s Dark Soy Pork Spare Ribs (老抽炒排骨).  The dark soy gravy teamed with jasmine white rice is a hit with my kids, but they have not picked up the taste for spare ribs; fats, bones and all.  That’s why I use skinless chicken breasts for this dish instead.

++Notes.001 // Original recipe uses 3 tablespoons of white sugar, I reduced it to 2.

++Notes.002 // Original recipe uses 3 tablespoons of water, I increased it to about 5-6, so that I can yield more gravy to go with rice.

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1 piece of skin+boneless chicken breast, diced
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 Tablespoon dark soy thick caramel sauce
2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
2 Tablespoons white sugar
5-6 Tablespoons water
1 clove of garlic, sliced (optional)
1 stalk of spring onion, cut into 5 cm length (optional)


01. Mix the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, water together in a small bowl, and give it a good stir to loosen up the thick caramel sauce in the mixture.  Set aside.

02. In a heated wok, add oil.

03. Once the oil starts to smoke,  add diced chicken meat, and stir fry quickly till meat is cooked and turns white and opaque.

04. Pour the sauce mixture in, keep stirring for about 2-3 minutes, ensuring every piece of meat gets covered by the dark sauce.

05. The sauce should start to thicken and caramelize.  At this point, turn off the fire, add the optional sliced garlic and spring onion, give it another good stir, before transferring to a plate.  Serve hot.

Onion Chicken Stir Fry

sweetonionchickenstirfry003 sweetonionstirfry002This recipe from AllRecipes.com is rated 4.5/5 stars.  I simplified it by stir-frying just the chicken meat and onion with the seasonings.

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1 piece chicken breast, about 250g, diced
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 stalk spring onion , for garnish (optional)


01. Mix water, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch well in a small bowl, set aside.

02. In a heated wok, add peanut oil.  Once the oil starts to smoke, add onion slices, and fry till they turn translucent.

03. Add chicken meat, and continue to fry till they turn white.

04. Stir the bowl of sauce to mix well again (cornstarch will settle to the bottom when set aside) and pour into the wok.

05. Keep stirring till the sauce is reduced and thickened to coat the chicken meat.

06. Transfer onto a plate, garnish with spring onions, and serve immediately with steamed white rice.