Mock Eel (Shiitake Mushrooms)

IFH Note: This dish is locally famous at A Single Pebble in Burlington, VT. To make a meal, serve with stir-fried cabbage over rice!

Recipe by Saveur. Photo by Romulo Yanes.



  • 7 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed

  • 6 cups boiling water

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 1⁄2 cup cornstarch

  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 (1") piece ginger, peeled and minced

  • 1⁄3 cup soy sauce

  • 1⁄4 cup sugar


  1. Combine mushrooms and water in a bowl; let sit until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Drain mushrooms and slice 1⁄3" thick; squeeze dry.

  2. Heat 2" oil in a 14" flat-bottomed wok (If you have a deep-fry thermometer - 350°). Working in batches, toss mushrooms with cornstarch, then quickly fry mushrooms until crisp, 1–2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to paper towels to drain.

  3. Discard all but 2 tbsp. oil from wok; heat over medium-high. Cook three-quarters of scallions and the ginger until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 1–2 minutes.

  4. Stir in reserved mushrooms; cook 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter; garnish with remaining scallions.