Here’s Jay’s popular Thai fusion dish. Jay is our resident expert on Asian cuisine. One attendee at the festival declared it the best thing she ate all day.
Thai Mushroom Laarb “Tacos” in Bibb Lettuce
- 1 pound Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- ½ pound shallots, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped in a food processor until it sticks to the sides of the bowl
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ cup chopped ginger
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon date sugar or maple crystals
- 1 Tablespoon shoyu
- 2 Tablespoons minced scallions
- 16 Bibb lettuce leaves (at least 3” diameter)
- 1 bundle bean thread noodles (saifun) and oil for frying
- Fresh mint tops and cilantro sprigs to garnish
- Sriracha chili sauce to garnish
- Grind the shiitakes through the medium plate of a meat grinder (or in a food processor, not too fine). Heat the canola oil in a large skillet. Add shallots, garlic and ginger; sweat (cook) until translucent, about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Fold in mushrooms; cook without stirring for 5 minutes. Season with chili powder, lime juice, date sugar, and shoyu. Stir, and cook until most of the water has evaporated, and the mixture looks like ground meat. Remove from heat, and stir in scallions. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Fry bean thread noodles in 350-degree oil for a moment, until they fluff like crisped rice.
- Arrange lettuce leaves on 8 plates (two per plate). Spoon mushroom sauté onto centers of lettuce leaves. Garnish with fried noodles, mint, cilantro, and Sriracha chili sauce.
Serves 8 as an appetizer