I love all types of mushrooms, but one of my favorites is the oyster mushroom.
The texture of an oyster mushroom is much firmer than that of the more common white button mushroom. I like the firm, chewy texture. It is more substantive, almost like eating meat.
Not too long ago, I was contacted by Nikhil Arora, one of the founders of Back to the Roots, who offered to provide me a kit to sample and a kit for a giveaway. Back to the Roots has created a mushroom kit which allows you to grow oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds, all inside a small little box in the comfort of your own home.
I was both a little wary of the product and excited. Wary because I had never heard of this and doubted it would work. Excited because I love oyster mushrooms and I live in a condo so I don’t have a garden and I would love to be able to grow something inside a box.
Nikhil offered to send me a box and give away a box to one of my readers. Of course, I wanted to test it out to make sure it works. The instructions are pretty simple.
The box provides a small window where the mushrooms will grow from. You cut a slit, making a cross. The first night, you soak the entire bag of recycled coffee grounds in water. After that, all you need to do is mist the opening twice a day with a little spray bottle which is provided. I placed my box underneath one of my kitchen windows because the directions tell you not to give it direct sunlight.
After that, it started to grow like crazy. I would actually see a difference in growth in just a few hours. It was so fun to watch and felt a little bit like having magic beans.
Once they are fully grown, they are ready to be plucked and eaten. You can then turn it on the other side and start again.
I used this first batch for a simple stir fry, which is a common way oyster mushrooms are used in chinese cuisine. I like a lot of colors in my stir fry, so added some broccoli and sweet red peppers. And I used some oyster sauce to go with the oyster mushrooms. For those unfamiliar, oyster sauce doesn’t taste like oysters, but it is often used in stir fry dishes and has a more complex flavor than soy sauce.
I’ll probably be a little more creative cooking with my second batch. Perhaps a mushroom pasta dish or a rich mushroom soup. Anyway, onto the giveway. Back to the Roots is offering one of my lucky readers a mushroom kit of their own. There are two ways to enter the giveaway. You can choose to do either one or both for an additional chance to win.
1. Follow Back to the Roots on twitter, and then leave me a comment on this post, letting me know you’ve done so.
2. Visit Back To the Roots’ facebook page, like them, and leave a comment on their wall. Then leave a comment on this post, letting me know you’ve done so.
Contest ends July 16, 2011 at midnight PST. The contest is only open to US residents. I will use random.org to generate a number to pick the winner. Good luck!
|Stir Fry Oyster mushrooms|
- 1 crown of broccoli
- 1 bunch of oyster mushrooms (usually about 1 pound in a bunch)
- 1 red pepper or any other ingredients you want in your stir fry
- 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce (available at chinese grocery stores)
- Wash and cut your vegetables to desired size.
- Heat your wok or frying pan to medium high heat and add about 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add in your cut vegetables and cook. Use a spatula or large spoon to stir around the vegetables so that they all get cooked thoroughly. When they are about 2/3 of the way done, add in the oyster sauce. Continue to stir the vegetables so that they are coated evenly and the oyster sauce dissolves. Turn off heat and serve while warm.