This time, I was growing Golden Oyster Mushrooms and yesterday was THE day! Time to cook these babies. They were so incredible I just knew they were at their peak and a wild mushroom waits for no man…or woman! I mean…just LOOK at them! Aren’t they lovely?
So, how to showcase these beauties? Well, taking inspiration from the color, I decided to make a curry…a light curry that wouldn’t compete with their earthy flavor. This curry is made from scratch, but don’t let that intimidate you. It just means that you are going to use the spices in their pure form, where you can customize them to your own taste, rather than start with a pre-made powder or cake.
I still had some butternut squash in the pantry from another dish I was making, and had bought too much for, so that was going to go in. Originally, I had planned to make this JUST vegetarian, but when I got that LOOK…you know what I mean…from my husband, I knew he wanted protein. So, cut up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and there we had it. Protein, but not so much it was going to overwhelm the veggies, and the flavor was neutral enough that it wouldn’t change the flavor of the curry.
There are two ingredients in this dish you may not be familiar with, or have on hand and those are black mustard seeds and curry leaves. Both can be readily found in Asian markets, but if you want them delivered, I’ve linked two brands I recommend (and use!) I’ll admit I didn’t have any black mustard seeds on hand, so I just substituted regular and the dish was just fine…
For my mushrooms I used about 6 oz of cremini mushrooms and the balance of the pound called for were the Golden Oysters! The oysters did NOT lose their color once cooked, so that made me very happy! I served the curry atop a tower of Calrose rice — boy do I like using my plating rings for presentation — and sprinkled some chopped cilantro on top.
The curry flavor was not overpowering and very fresh. I was a great way to use these mushrooms and I can’t wait for the next time I try them.
Want to grow your own Golden Oyster Mushrooms in 10 days on your kitchen counter? Then get a Spray & Grow Kit from North Spore! Click on this link and use the code SHIPBOARDCHEF for 10% off your order! They have a number of great varieties and there really is no easier way to have your fresh, gourmet mushrooms!
Winter Squash and Wild Mushroom Curry
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 10 oz butternut or other winter squash peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1-2 small green chiles such as jalapeño or serrano
- 3 medium shallots or 1 small onion finely diced
- ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves optional
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Pinch of ground cayenne
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 lb mushrooms preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced ⅛-inch thick
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Cilantro sprigs for garnish
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes optionall
- In a wide skillet, heat oil over medium-high. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
- If using chicken thighs, add to the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned on all sides. Remove to a plate.
- Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile to open it, but leave whole. (This helps the chiles heat the sauce without making it too spicy.)
- Add shallots, salt lightly and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves, if using, and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chiles. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add mushrooms, season with salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Return squash cubes and chicken (if using) to skillet, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.
- Before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with cilantro.