I love going out for Chinese food but I have to admit that every time I try making it at home, it never turns out as good as it is in the restaurants. I don't know if it is because I don't have the right kind of wok or the most authentic ingredients or what but my Chinese dishes always seem to turn out too salty and thin and overcooked. This is the first recipe I've found that has consistently produced perfect results. Finally, great homemade Chinese food! Ginger, garlic, hot chilies and oyster sauce all contribute strong flavors but the real highlights of this dish are the dried shiitake mushrooms and Chinese fermented black beans. Both can be found in any Asian market and both are packed full of fantastic flavor. Serve this dish with lots of freshly steamed white rice.
Egg Rolls
Shrimp & Shiitake Stir-Fry
Seared Chinese Broccoli
Steamed White Rice


10 to 12 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups hot water
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon dry sherry or dry white wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chinese fermented black beans
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon seeded and minced hot chili (such as serrano or jalapeno)
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions

Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water until softened (about 20 minutes.) Drain the mushrooms, reserving 1-1/2 cups of the soaking liquid. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the mushrooms. Cut off the stems and discard; cut the caps into quarters. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms, shrimp, sherry or white wine and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch together to coat evenly. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Soak the black beans in warm water for one minute; drain and mince. Mix the black beans, garlic, ginger, chili and half of the green onions together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the reserved mushroom soaking liquid together with the oyster sauce, sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves.

Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and mushrooms and stir-fry until the shrimp begin to curl and turn pink (about 2 minutes.) Add the black bean mixture and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Stir in the mushroom-oyster sauce liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble (about 2 minutes.) Transfer to a platter, garnish with the remaining green onions and serve.

Makes 4 servings



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Marinating the shrimp in the cornstarch causes the shrimp to have a crisper texture when cooked. This is a trademark method in Chinese cooking but can also be used in other non-Chinese dishes that call for searing shrimp over high heat.

Dried shiitake mushrooms can be found in any Asian market. They are sometimes labeled "black mushrooms." These are a great staple to have around not only for adding to stir-fries and Chinese soups, but also for making strong mushrooms broths for risottos or stews.

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