Wild Oyster Mushroom Stew

Whether you buy the mushrooms at the market or forage for them in the woods, this stew will taste better than anything similar you've eaten before.

Vegan. Hands-on time: 10 mins. Total time: 20 mins.

Contributed by Mike Lewis (October 2004).

I got this recipe from Steve Brill's wonderful Wild Vegetarian Cookbook. Steve, better know as 'Wildman' Brill, is a flamboyant New York-based naturalist who makes a living showing people how to forage for wild food in woods and city parks. There's an amazing richness of uncultivated food growing all around us, but you need guidance from someone with Steve's insight and expertise to know what it is safe to harvest and to eat. I've learned more on this subject from Steve's books than I thought it was possible to know.

Oyster mushrooms are among the most abundant of wild mushrooms. They can be found throughout the year, most often on the trunks of dead trees, but if you are nervous about gathering them from the wild, they are also available in supermarkets. Living up to their name, their taste and smell is reminiscent of oysters.

This recipe (which in Steve's book is called You're Not the Only Oyster Stew in the Sea) is a vegan version of the traditional oyster stew. The quantities given here will make six generous portions.



Sauté the onions and celery in the olive oil five minutes.

Meanwhile, purée the silken tofu in a blender with the water, flaxseed oil and Vege-sal or salt.

Add the tofu to the sautéed ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients except the parsley and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for five minutes, add the parsley, and simmer another five minutes.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.