125 g/4 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
750 ml/11/2 pints/3 cups hot water
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons peanut oil
Wash mushrooms well in cold water. Put in a bowl, pour hot water over and soak for 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut off stems. Squeeze water from caps, and reserve. To the reserved liquid, add some of the water in which the mushrooms were soaked, enough to make 2 cups. Add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and stir to dissolve sugar.
Heat peanut oil in a wok and fry mushrooms over a high heat, stirring and turning, pressing them against the wok with the frying spoon, until the undersides are browned. Add liquid mixture, reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the mushrooms take on a shiny appearance. Stir occcasionally towards end of cooking time. Serve hot or cold. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)