vegan, sweet potato, shitake mushroom, curry with homegrown shitakes–yeah, we’re growing shitakes now, what will we think of next

About two years ago, SuperHubby brought home a bunch of fungus inoculated wooden plugs that he proceeded to stick into holes he drilled into several logs.  He piled the logs in a Jenga-game shape under the eaves of the bathhouse (where they get thoroughly wet every time it rains) and we all proceeded to forget about them, in that way that you don’t even see the crap in your yard anymore.  This was about the time we were into mushroom hunting, an interest that waxes and wanes for me, about like mushroom season.  Until this week.  Look what Sophie noticed:

shitakes 1


shitakes 2

We decided to eat them, to make curry, and realized we were out of potatoes all in about the next three minutes.  But we did have a bunch of sweet potatoes…could it work?  Sounded weird.  Ah, what the heck, let’s try it!

Sweet potato curry turns out to be FREAKING DELICIOUS.  I could NOT STOP eating it.  The sweetness of the potatoes with the spicy curry was amazing, plus the meaty, savoriness of the shitakes…man this has to be the best curry we’ve made.

shitakes 3

This is Japanese curry we’re talking about, the kind made with the pre-made roux.  Here’s how you do it:

Carmelize a giant onion in a ton of butter.  Add maybe ten chopped up cloves of garlic.  Put in a couple of chopped carrots, maybe some celery if you have some—curry is excellent Clean-Out-The-Fridge food.  Add the shitakes—the slices in the bowl here are the sort of furry, bug-like things, they look sort of like mustaches or caterpillars.  SO GOOD.  Throw in a couple of giant sweet potatoes peeled and cubed.  Saute for a few minutes, then add water, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are soft-ish.  Meanwhile, rice is cooking in the rice cooker…

Add four cubes of curry roux.  Here’s the kind we used:japanese curry 1

Add some frozen green peas (I like the color, but they can easily get over cooked, so I put them in last).  Let it simmer on low heat until the roux dissolved and done its magic, turning into this fabulous, rich, compulsively eatable sauce.  Yes, this stuff has MSG in it, plus a host of other chemicals, I know, I know.  But given how clean the rest of my diet is, I can do a little Japanese style Kare Risu.  Because OMG soooo oishii!

Shitakes are about $20 a pound at our local market.  And growing our own has been about as low-labor a crop can possibly be.  They’re just sitting out there, making food.  How cool is that?  Super easy.  Highly recommended.

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