Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

When I first set out to create a Bar Bites recipe using the mushrooms I already had in hand, I had all the intentions of making a quick Spanish-style tapas dish of mushrooms sauteed in garlic and olive oil. Trouble was, I was plumb out of good extra virgin olive oil—a key ingredient when making such a simple dish.

So before running off to the store, I rummaged through my pantry and came across a jar of coconut oil. Inspiration struck, and from there, things took a left turn (or, more accurately, a turn towards Southeast Asia). I nixed my original plans altogether and decided to stir-fry my mushrooms in the coconut oil, along with some garlic, lemongrass, and thinly sliced Thai chilies. I then finished everything off with some fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro.

Although miles away from being Spanish tapas, the last-minute tweaks to my dish resulted in savory and spicy mushrooms brightened with the flavors of lemongrass and lime juice—a quick perfect snack to go with a cold beer.

About the author: Marvin Gapultos is the author of the Filipino food blog, Burnt Lumpia. His first cookbook is due out in 2013. When he isn't cooking or writing about Filipino food, Marvin is usually enjoying a beer or cocktail, and thinking about what to eat with said beer or cocktail. You can follow him on Twitter @BurntLumpia.

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