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Oyster mushrooms on the tree, Pleurotus ostreatus
Photo by Ruby Jung. All rights reserved.

Ruby's Hot and Sour Oyster Mushroom Soup

Pleurotus ostreatus

My wife Ruby came up with this recipe of which she is justifiably proud. The result is quite tasty and is an excellent way to warm up and recover after a hard day's winter tramp searching for Oyster Mushrooms in the woods.


Saute a pound or so of diced Oyster Mushrooms and half a pound of thinly sliced and diced Vidalia onions in butter or margarine over low heat until tender. Add 1/4 cup Cooking Sherry and simmer until the mushrooms are half their original size.

At the same time pour a can of chicken broth (14 oz.) in a pot and simmer. Add 1 tablespoon each of vegetable oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil, 2 tablespoons each of chopped green scallions and vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of pepper and stir it in.

Refill the broth can with water and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, combining it with the water. Combine this with the soup stock, stirring for about 1 minute. Then stir in the mushrooms, onions, and cooking sherry. Salt to taste. When slightly thickened, bring to a boil and then immediately turn off the heat. Pour the soup into a hot tureen and add two lightly beaten eggs in a thin stream while constantly stirring. Serve immediately.

So delicious even I ask for seconds. And I'm a tough audience! Yum, yum.


Note: This recipe works well with other species as well – particularly Horns-of-Plenty, Morels and Hen-of-the-Woods – and other full flavored species including the grocery store agarics.

Dried dried horns-of-plenty are particularly good. Soak a handfull in water to cover for at least an hour. Overnight is fine.

Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Dice mushrooms and saute with the onion. Use the soaking liquid in place of part of the water, or freeze and use in other dishes.

Always cook mushrooms before eating. All mushrooms (including the grocery store agarics) contain a substance called Monomethyl Hydrazine (MMH) - an important ingredient in high octane rocket fuel - that is a proven carcinogen. The heat from cooking drives this volatile compound off and while morels don't contain enough MMH to be overtly dangerous in their raw state, it's never wise to knowingly ingest carcinogenic substances. Besides they taste better cooked!

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The information on this page is tailored to Southern Illinois, Southwest Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri

Copyright © 2004 Jim Jung