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Recipe Chinese Mushroom Hot Pot

A rich, hearty stew that's perfect for a chilly autumn evening. Try any combination of mushrooms for different flavours and textures -- so many possibilities, the world is your oyster mushroom!

You will need

Serves 4

  • 150 g mixed mushrooms, such as fresh shiitake, oyster, shimeji, black fungus or enoki, or tinned straw mushrooms
  • 400 g white button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled, dried wakame (optional; see tip)
  • 200 g silken tofu, cut into 2 cm cubes (optional)
  • Snipped coriander, to garnish (optional)
  • Sliced spring onions, to garnish (optional)

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Directions

15 mins to prep

35 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 200°C conventional, or 180°C fan-forced. Lightly oil a casserole dish with a lid.

  2. Step 2

    Brush the mushrooms free of dirt. Slice the button mushrooms and set aside. Cut or tear the fresh mixed mushrooms into bite-sized pieces, keeping the different varieties separate, so they can be added to the hot pot at different stages to maintain their unique textures. (We'll be adding the sturdier ones first, and saving the more delicate enoki and oyster mushrooms until the end, so keeping them all separate will make this simpler.)

  3. Step 3

    Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with some of the vegetable stock in a bowl. Add the remaining vegetable stock, then stir in the hoisin and soy sauces until well combined. Set aside.

  4. Step 4

    In a large saucepan, gently heat the olive and sesame oils over medium heat. Add the garlic and Chinese five-spice and stir for about 20 seconds, until aromatic.

  5. Step 5

    Now add the button mushrooms, and any fresh shiitake, and stir to coat with the garlicky oil. After about 5 minutes, when they've softened slightly, add any shimeji mushrooms or black fungus, and any tinned straw mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

  6. Step 6

    Give the vegetable stock mixture a quick stir, then pour over the mushrooms, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring constantly for 3–4 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

  7. Step 7

    Stir in any oyster mushrooms, and the wakame, if using. Pour the mixture into your casserole dish. Arrange any enoki mushrooms on top, and the silken tofu, if using, poking the cubes down into the hot pot slightly.

  8. Step 8

    Pop the lid on, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check to see if the mushrooms are cooked to your liking; add a little more vegetable stock or water if the hot pot looks a little dry. Cover and bake for a further 10–15 minutes, if required.

  9. Step 9

    Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander or spring onions (or both!) and serve with steamed rice, quinoa or millet.

Hot tip!

Wakame is a nutrient-rich seaweed, available in a dried form from some supermarkets and most health food stores. It's worth tracking down to add a burst of briny flavour and minerals to this dish.