Chicken rice with shiitake mushrooms

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Shiitake mushrooms are now cultivated outside East Asia and can be bought fresh or dried. Shiitake are native to Japan, China and Korea and have been grown in all three countries since prehistoric times. Russia produces and also consumes large amounts of them, mostly sold pickled; and the shiitake is slowly making its way into western cuisine as well. There is a global industry in shiitake production, with local farms in most western countries in addition to large scale importation from China, Japan, Korea and elsewhere. Shiitake are often dried and sold as preserved food in packages. These must be rehydrated by soaking in water before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh, considering that the sun-drying process draws out the umami flavour from the dried mushrooms by breaking down proteins into amino acids and transforms ergosterol to vitamin D. The stems of shiitake are rarely used in Japanese and other cuisines, primarily because the stems are harder and take longer to cook than the soft fleshy caps. The highest grade of shiitake are called donko in Japanese.

When you prepare shiitake mushrooms you should snip off the hard stems (but don’t discard them – add to soups and stock). Shiitake go well with pork, meat and steamed fish; they can also be mixed with ordinary cultivated mushrooms.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup of rice, washed
3 thumb-sized of ginger, skinned and chopped
1 chicken breast, cubed
7 dried Shiitake mushroom, dehydrated, stalk removed and cubed
3 tbsp of sesame oil
2 3/4 cups of water

Seasonings:
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
4 tbsp of light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
3 tbsp of shao xing wine

 

Preparation:

Heat up sesame oil in a wok using low heat. Sauté ginger till fragrant. Do this slowly and prevent over-heating as sesame oil has lower boiling point.
Stir in Shiitake mushroom and chicken cube. Stir-fry till chicken cube turn white at all surface.
Add seasonings, except the rice wine. Add rice. Stir to mix well with the ingredients. Pour in water and bring to a boil.
Transfer all the ingredients into rice cooker and sprinkle with rice wine. Cook it like when you cook white rice. When it’s done the cooking. Keep it warm in rice cooker for another 10 minutes before serving.