Shrimp and Pork Stuffed Mushrooms
Combining shrimp with pork is quite common in Chinese cookery and a well seasoned blend of ground pork and chopped shrimp makes for a very popular dumpling filling, as well as a stuffing for many other delicacies as well. Here, the combination is used to stuff mushroom caps, which are then pan-fried and served in a sweet, umami rich sauce.
The Recipe Card below calls for 15 -20 good-sized Button Mushrooms to use up the filling. I am actually only stuffing 6 and reserving the remainder of the filling for other recipes. You can do the same (freeze the excess until needed), or decrease the amount you make accordingly.
For the Sauce blend, use a good Basic Chinese Chicken Stock, or, if you prefer a nice Shrimp Stock.
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 (probably in a stock).
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, but to prepare it the traditional Chinese way, you need to stir the pork repeatedly, in the same direction until it is sticky. This aligns the meat fibers and produces the proper result.
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.
Mix the Shrimp and the Pork together with the Scallions, Ginger, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and the Tablespoon of Cornstarch, and then let whole thing sit in the fridge for a while to allow the flavours 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.
Your Recipe Card:
Shrimp and Pork Stuffed Mushrooms
- 15 – 20 large stuffing-size Button Mushrooms;
- 1/2 lb 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 Chicken Stock
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce;
- 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 1 tsp. additional Cornstarch.
- Remove the stems from the Mushrooms and scoop the gills and pithy flesh out of the inside of the caps.
- Brush the Caps with a little oil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or so until slightly softened. Drain of any liquid that has accumulated and chill the Caps until needed.
- Stir the pork repeatedly in one direction (or blend in a processor) until it is smooth and sticky then chop the Shrimp coarsely.
- Mix the Shrimp and the Pork together with the Scallions, Ginger, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and the Tablespoon of Cornstarch.
- Stuff some of the mixture into each Mushroom Cap and set aside.
- Mix the teaspoon of Cornstarch to a slurry with a little water, the mix it with the Stock, Sugar, Oyster Sauce and Rice Wine. Set aside for now.
- Heat a little oil in a pan over a low flame and pan-fry the mushroom caps, filling side down, 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 the mushrooms and drizzle over the sauce.