King Oyster and Wood Ear Mushrooms with Cilantro Persillade

Time 15 minutes
Yields Serves 2 to 4
Minced cilantro and garlic add freshness to a dish of burnished, earthy mushrooms by David Tanis.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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The counter-play between the meaty king oyster mushrooms and the thin, crunchy wood ear mushrooms makes it an exciting dish. A simple persillade, traditionally a mix of minced parsley and garlic, is made here with cilantro and livens up the hearty mushrooms. Serve this on its own as a vegetarian main dish or as a side to pork chops or roast beef or game.


Trim any tough or dried bottoms from the king oyster mushrooms then use your paring knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the bottom inch of outer skin from the stems, if you like. Cut the king oyster mushrooms lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.


If using a grill, brush the oyster mushroom slices with olive oil. If using a skillet, heat a thin film of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the slices to the skillet (or to a hot grill), season with salt and pepper and cook, flipping halfway, until deep golden brown all over, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the slices to a serving plate and remove the skillet from the heat.


While the mushrooms cook, make the persillade. Rip off 2 to 3 sprigs’ worth of cilantro leaves and soft stems and place on a cutting board. Place the garlic cloves on the cilantro and mince the two together.


Return the skillet to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of more olive oil. Add the wood ear mushrooms, season with salt and sprinkle over the persillade. Cook, tossing often, just until the mushrooms are hot and the garlic is no longer raw, 30 to 60 seconds.


Scatter the wood ear mushrooms over the oyster mushroom slices, then top with more fresh cilantro leaves to serve.