Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sambal Mushroom Stems

shiitake mushroom stems

dried shiitake mushrooms
Dried shiitake mushrooms

Do you discard dried shiitake mushrooms stems after using the caps for cooking? Some people used the tough and fibrous stems to flavour their soup and then discard them before serving. However, I love to save and freeze them for making vegetarian sambal.  Building up my collection of mushroom stems takes several months, but it's worth the wait. 

Before cooking, blitz the mushroom stems in the food processor or crush them with mortar and pestle.  I prefer using the latter to achieve the 'floss-like' texture.  Cook your favourite sambal recipe and just add in the pounded mushroom stems and you'll have a bowl of delicious sambal! 


About 3 cups of mushroom stems (soaked in water overnight) 
salt & sugar, to taste
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
2 tbsp light soy sauce
enough oil

Sambal paste:
200g shallots
100g garlic
4 stalk lemon grass (use the white parts only)
a knob of galangal
a small knob of turmeric
6 candlenuts
2 tbsp chopped bunga kantan
5 tbsp chili powder
some water 

  • Blend all the sambal ingredients into paste.  Set aside.
  • Pound the mushroom stems using mortar and pestle until you achieved 'floss-like' texture.  Set aside.
  • Heat enough oil to fry the pounded mushroom stems under low heat until dry. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Heat enough oil to stir fry the pounded ingredients until aromatic.  Add in the mushroom stems and shredded kaffir lime leaves and stir to combine.  Add in light soy sauce, salt and sugar. Continue to fry until dry.


  1. Veronica..thanks for sharing ...from now on I will save them for this delicious sambal :)

  2. What an exotic and delicious recipe! What is bunga kantan?

    1. Hi Angie, bunga kantan is called torch ginger flower, usually in assam laksa.

  3. Veronica, how creative! I usually throw them into the compost but after reading this post, I shall save them to make sambal!

    1. I know, I used to throw them away but now I collect them!


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