So, this is the recipe. It is simple, straightforward, and picturesque. I hope you like it.
Take 8 dried cloud ear fungus or dried shiitake mushrooms, and rehydrate them by cooking them on high in a microwave for 5 minutes with 1 cup of water and then resting them for 30 minutes, or by simply soaking them in the said amount of water for 2 hours. I chose the former path.
Slice the said mushrooms into bitty pieces, along with 200 gm. of button mushrooms. Reserve the mushroom liquor that has gathered in the bowl. Now, marinate the button mushroom in 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp. fish sauce, 1 tsp. soy sauce and the mushroom liquor for 1 hour.
Heat pan, add sesame oil and refined oil (about 1 tbsp. in all). Add 1 finely chopped onion, and a single dried red chilli, cut in pieces. Fry over high heat.
Add 1 tsp. grated ginger and the cloud ear fungus. Mix and stir fry.
Add the button mushrooms and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Fry.
Add the reserved mushroom marinade, pepper powder, and cover the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, or till the water has been mostly absorbed. Add 1 cup of water mixed with 1 tbsp. cornflour. Cook till the gravy is thick.
Serve over hot rice.
I know, I know, this recipe is just that. A recipe. But it is tasty. Give it a chance, and you will see how it soothes your soul.