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Kung Pao mushrooms

This dish deserves status as a main dish on your dinner table.




  • 2 teaspoons Chinkiang black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon potato starch

Stir Fry

  • 2 medium king oyster mushrooms (10 ounces / 280 grams), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups (480 mL) vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1 (2-inch) piece (15 grams) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried red chiles (about 15), snipped into ½-inch segments and seeds shaken out
  • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup green chile pepper or bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts or Fried Peanuts



  1. Whisk together black vinegar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sugar, kosher salt, white pepper and potato starch. All the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and blended. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss the mushroom cubes with the soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil, then let them rest for five minutes to release their liquid.

Stir Fry

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat to 360°F (185°C) or until a wooden chopstick forms a merry stream of bubbles when inserted.
  2. While the oil is heating, check on the mushroom cubes—they should be damp. Add half a cup of the starch to the bowl and squeeze the mushroom cubes to allow the starch to be absorbed. The mushroom cubes should still be slightly damp. Add the remaining starch and toss until each cube is coated with a generous amount. This will prevent them from sticking to each other when frying.
  3. Fry the mushroom cubes in batches. Separate the cubes with your fingers as you drop them in to prevent them from clumping up. After about 15 seconds in the oil, the mushrooms will begin to sizzle and splatter as their internal water comes out. Stand back and wait until the splattering slows, then stir the cubes with a skimmer or spider until they are golden brown and crisp, about two minutes.
  4. Remove the cubes and transfer them to a paper towel-lined dish. Bring the oil back up to temperature and repeat with the remaining mushrooms. Pour the oil into a heatproof container for another use, reserving two teaspoons in the wok.
  5. Return the wok to medium heat. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the dried chiles, peppercorns, and stir-fry until the chiles darken for about 30 seconds. (Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated, as this will give off stinging smoke.)
  6. Add the scallions, chile, and mushroom cubes, then increase the heat to high and pour the sauce down the side of the wok, so it sizzles to the bottom. Toss for 30 seconds until the sauce coats the mushroom cubes and everything is piping hot.
  7. Stir in the peanuts, remove from the heat, and serve. Enjoy! 

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