Combining shrimp with pork is quite common in Chinese cookery and a well seasoned blend of ground pork and chopped shrimp is one of may favorite dumpling fillings. That being said, I wanted to experiment with the typical filling for dishes that don’t include the carb load of a dumpling wrapper and today’s post shows you the first of a few little ideas I tried…
- 6 -8 large, stuffing-size Button Mushrooms;
- 1/2lb ground Pork;
- ½ pound Shrimp, peeled and deveined;
- 3 small Scallions, finely chopped;
- 1 tsp. minced Ginger;
- 1 tsp. Garlic Puree;
- ½ tsp. Salt;
- ½ tsp. White Pepper;
- 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch;
- 1 cup Stock (chicken is fine but Shrimp, if you have it);
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce;
- 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch.
By the way, the amount of filling here is probably enough for 15 – 20 large mushrooms but I am planning to use the remainder for a couple of other experiments. You can use this filling to stuff a lot of mushrooms, if you like, or else start by halving the recipe. Alternatively, you can simply use the mix as a replacement in any of the dumpling recipes here on my blog (for example, Daikon Dumplings or Simple Pork Dumplings).
The first thing you need to do for stuffed mushrooms is to prepare them by removing the stem and scooping out the gills and white, pithy flesh beneath. Often, the chopped stems get added to the chosen stuffing mixture but, in this case, I just going to save them for use elsewhere (in a stock perhaps).
In many stuffed mushroom recipes, you can simply put in the filling and then cook the mushrooms by baking, or steaming (or whatever). However, this requires a robust filling so, if you are using delicate ingredients that may not fare well when cooked for a long time (that is, long enough to cook the mushrooms), you can avoid the problem by pre-cooking the mushroom caps first. To do this, brush the caps well with a little oil and then pop them into a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, dump out the liquid that has accumulated and let the caps chill until ready to use (they will be much easier to stuff when chilled).
The ground pork you are using needs to be much more finely ground than it will typically be when bought from your supermarket. A couple of minutes in the food processor will yield a nice, smooth texture.
Now chop your shrimp somewhat coarsely. For this first recipe, little pieces as you see above are about right but, for other applications you may want a finer mince. Today, I am going to start with a rather chunky stuffing mixture so as to produce the finished texture I want for my mushroom filling.
Now add the rest of the filling ingredients, mix well and then let whole thing sit in the fridge for a while to allow the flavors to blend. As you can see, the pieces of shrimp are very visible still.
When you are ready, stuff each cap, making sure to push as much as you can under the ‘rims’. Stuffing cooked caps is a little bit trickier than the raw sort but if you proceed gently, you can avoid tearing the softened flesh.
Before going further, add the remaining cornstarch to a small bowl along with the sugar and add just enough water to make a smooth paste. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and set aside for now.
Now heat a little oil in a pan over a low flame and add the mushroom caps, filling side down, and allow to sauté until the surface is nicely browned. Then turn the mushrooms over, cover the pan, and cook gently until the filling is cooked all the way through.
Finally, turn up the heat, add the sauce mix and cook a little longer until the sauce is clear and slightly reduced. Plate your mushrooms however you like and drizzle over the sauce.
This is just another ‘plating’ I did. Shortly, I will show you how I used the rest of the ‘dumpling’ mix.