The oyster mushroom is a gift to all cooks, especially those who like a meaty texture. Crisp them in a pan or roast them in the oven, and they’ll develop a satisfying chewiness. They are subtle and earthy but, like all well- behaved ingredients, are also a great conduit of bigger, shoutier flavours. Here, I’ve loosely based the marinade on that used for birria tacos: a hot and gently sour chilli paste, using my favourite mild, smoky and chocolate-y ancho chillies.
Oyster mushroom tacos
This isn’t an economical recipe, but it is a special and fun meal for two. You can reduce the cost (and, in some cases, packaging) by buying oyster mushrooms from a Chinese supermarket.
Prep 10 min
Cook 50 min
For the salsa
½ red onion, peeled and chopped into ½cm dice
20g (5½ tbsp) coriander leaves, finely chopped
4 tbsp fresh lime juice (ie from 3 or 4 limes)
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp fine sea salt
For the crema
80g vegan mayo
100g vegan yoghurt
A pinch of salt
For the mushrooms
2 dried ancho chillies
4 garlic cloves, peeled
½ red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano, or dried regular oregano
200ml orange juice
1¼ tsp fine salt
1 tbsp tomato puree
500g oyster mushrooms
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and line two large bakings sheet with reusable baking paper.
First make the salsa. Put the red onion, coriander, lime juice, orange juice and salt in a small serving bowl, mix and set aside. Now make the crema. In a second small serving bowl, mix the mayonnaise, yoghurt and salt, and set aside.
Cut the stems off the chillies, roll the chillies between your fingers and thumbs, and vigorously shake out the seeds (either keep and plant the seeds, or compost them). Put the chillies in a small heatproof bowl, pour over enough just-boiled water to cover and leave to soak for about five minutes. Drain, then put in a blender with the garlic cloves, onion, allspice, oregano, orange juice, salt and tomato puree, and blitz to a paste.
Put the paste in a bowl, add the oyster mushrooms, toss to coat each one, then tip out on to the lined trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the mushrooms are starting to crisp up.
Halfway through the mushroom cooking time, heat the tacos according to packet instructions. I dry-fry mine in a frying pan on a medium to high heat, until they are blackened in places but soft, then put them in a large, heavy lidded casserole to keep warm.
When the mushrooms are ready, put them in a serving bowl and take to the table alongside the crema, salsa and tortillas, to assemble as you wish – I go mushrooms first, followed by a dollop of crema and a spoonful of salsa.
July 16, 2022 at 04:09PM Meera Sodha