Wednesday 1 October 2008

Vietnamese Mushroom Balls with Plum Sauce

EDIT - I have finally gotten around to perfecting these and have made up a lovely Apricot-Ginger dipping sauce to go with them.
Just click on the link here: Vietnamese Mushroom Balls with an Apricot-Ginger Dipping Sauce :-)

Bit of a work in progress this one but thought I would blog them anyway as they did have great flavour. Recipe comes from 'The Asian Vegan Kitchen' cookbook which I'm thinking will become one of my favorites despite this being the first thing I've made from it. A lot of the recipe do call for harder to find ingredients so I will slowly get through the recipes. Regardless, everything in it sounds amazing. I started with these as they sounded great and I had most the ingredients.....but then proceeded to completely botch the recipe up - my fault, I was going to halve it then decided not too but kept the quantities for the mushrooms the same. I also omitted the 'dried wood ear mushrooms' and replaced the straw mushrooms with regular old button. However as I used less than the amount called for there was then too much flour in the batter and it got very, very gluteny. Hence the reason for no pic of the inside. They were still yummy though and the big bowl of them disappeared fast so I can't wait to try again and get the texture right. Didn't feel like making my own plum sauce so it's just out of a bottle...

8 dried shiitake mushroom caps, reconstituted and chopped
2 reconstituted dried wood ear mushrooms, chopped *I omitted*
50g straw mushrooms, halved *I chopped button mushrooms*
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
125g flour * I would add a little bit at a time and check consistency*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 inch cube ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 fresh hot chilies, green or red, finely chopped
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper *I just ground some in*
1/2 tsp salt
160ml water *I only added maybe a quarter of this and it all got too gluteny with the flour, again this may be because I screwed up the amount of mushrooms*
100g bread crumbs
vegetable oil to fry
plum sauce to serve

In a bowl, combine the mushrooms and carrot with the flour. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chilies, sugar, pepper and salt. Gradually add the water, stirring to make a coarse mix. In a wok or deep saucepan heat the oil for deep frying. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls then roll into the breadcrumbs. Gently slide the balls into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper. Let cool slightly and serve with plum sauce.

Notes - I wanted to use panko breadcrumbs but didn't have any so used regular. We also tried some with thai sweet chili sauce and that worked just as nice.

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