Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Having shown off my mad cashew-chicken skilz, I thought it would be a good idea to recruit my leftover shrooms for a different purpose: spaghetti sauce. This is a quasi-bolognese in the style my mother used to make at home: shrooms, ground meat (beef and pork in this case), green bell peppers, and a tomato sauce fortified with oregano, parsley, basil, bay leaves, garlic, salt, pepper, and a wee bit of sugar. I'd have liked to have fresh herbs, but at the local E-Mart, none were to be found (the E-Mart in Seoul, near where I used to live in the Sookdae neighborhood, did have fresh herbs, including basil and parsley). Still: dry herbs are better than nothing. You work with what you have.


I don't know why, but the sauce burns very easily if it's not being stirred constantly. I don't recall having that sort of trouble in the States. Normally, a spaghetti sauce should be able to simmer for hours with only occasional stirring.

The two types of mushroom I used were (1) oyster mushrooms, which are amazingly meaty, and (2) a Korean mushroom called iseul-songi (이슬송이). I have no idea what this latter shroom is called in English; it looks like a slightly enlarged, round-capped button mushroom with a brown, flaky surface reminiscent of shiitake (pyogo in Korean; see here) Also like shiitake, the iseul-songi has an almost piquant, rebellious-yet-subtle pungency to it. As soon as I smelled this mushroom, I knew right away that it would be perfect with red wine, which in turn made me wish I had been making some boeuf bourguignon.

Anyway, here's the finished product:

Smells as good as it looks. I should have made some garlic bread to go with it.


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