Finding authentic Chinese food in Missoula is arduous, but cooking it at home can be painless. This recipe for Chinese-style fried mushrooms on a bed of spinach is cheap, vegetarian and a breeze to make. It is authentically brought to you from the mind of Chinese student Jiakai “JK” Lou — So this is about as real as it gets. You can find a video tutorial of this recipe on montanakaimin.com.
1. Start by washing the spinach and mushrooms thoroughly. Then remove the mushroom stems and insides.
2. Mince up the garlic. One medium clove of garlic per four or so mushrooms is a good rule of measure.
3. Use a knife to lightly score the tops of the mushroom caps.
4. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
5. Boil the spinach for one minute and then plate.
6. Coat the pan in a generous layer of vegetable oil and heat on medium to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and fry them face-down for five minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip and cook for another two minutes.
7. Add a hearty splash of rice wine and soy sauce as well as the garlic to the pan and mix. You can get authentic cooking rice wine either from Good Food Store or Missoula Fresh Market.
8. Flip the mushrooms once more and take them out of the pan after one minute.
9. Plate the mushrooms on the spinach. Pour some of the pan juice on top.
Contributed by Quinn Corcoran and Jiakai Lou