There is an entire blog post missing prior to this: our honeymoon/Thailand recap! I will get to it… eventually. However, since coming back from our honeymoon, I’ve now perfected the recipe of a dish that was such an inspiration to us and I need to share 🙂
While in Bangkok, a good friend and BKK resident, took us to a trendy little restaurant called LonLon Local Diner for an excellent meal. There the chef created a vegan version of the traditional and popular Thai Basil Chicken dish, substituting mushrooms for ground chicken. It was easily the favorite dish on the table, and I made mental notes to replicate it at home.
Three tries later, I got it. There are a few keys to getting it right: the mushrooms have to cook until you have the texture of “ground meat”, and you must obviously have the proper Thai ingredients. That likely means a trip to your local Asian grocer for Thai basil and some dried (or fresh) red chilis. The rest of the ingredients you may already have in your fridge, but can easily be found at any grocery store.
The other thing to note here is that MUSHROOMS SHRINK SEVERELY. I’d suggest starting with about 5-7oz of mushrooms per person. It may seem a lot, but it will cook down to proper portions. You want mushrooms with good bite too, so go for shiitakes or baby bellas.
Now first get your Jasmine rice cooking. Once that’s going, you can prep the actual dish. This entire meal will take about 15mins from start to finish (rice and mushrooms).
THAI BASIL MUSHROOMS, serves 2
- 1T olive oil
- 4-5 shallots, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1″ piece of ginger, finely minced
- 10oz shiitake mushrooms (2 containers), finely chopped
- 3-4 dried red chilis, sliced (medium heat; add more if you like it quite spicy)
- 1T oyster sauce
- 1T soy sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- handful of Thai basil, torn into bite size pieces
- On medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pan
- Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until soft
- Add the garlic, ginger and shallots to the pan and cook with the mushrooms until soft and starting to brown
- Add the red chilis, then the oyster and soy sauce and stir to combine
- Let the mushroom mixture cook down further until you see some pieces starting to crisp
- Check for seasoning and add salt & pepper as necessary
- Turn the heat to high, add the Thai basil and toss for a minute until wilted and slightly crispy
All done! By now your rice should be tender and fluffy. Add a portion of it to a plate or into a bowl and top with the basil mushrooms. If you like a bit of an extra kick (or didn’t add enough chilis), you can always sprinkle on some red pepper flakes, and drizzle on some Chinese chili oil.
This is a thoroughly delicious dish, and you will definitely not miss the meat!
If you decide to try this recipe, tag me or let me know! ❤