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.
- Yield:Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons coconut, vegetable, or canola oil
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass, tender white bottom section only (about 1 stalk)
- 1 Thai bird chili pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and the salt and stir-fry until the mushrooms become tender and begin to release some liquid, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir the garlic, lemongrass, and chilies into the pan and cook until the garlic just begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add the lime juice and fish sauce, and season with the black pepper, continuing to toss and stir-fry the contents in the wok.
Remove the wok from the heat, then add the cilantro and toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt if desired. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving dish and serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks.