Spicy Chicken Stir Fry with Golden Enoki Mushrooms and Fresh Papaya
Sometimes you spot an ingredient, so unusual and intriguing that you simply must have it. And hold it. I sighed loudly and must have given the customers browsing the mushroom shelf every reason to roll their eyes at me. The golden enoki mushroom, a huge and ethereal mass of delicate amber threads was imported from South Korea. I try my utmost to buy local fresh produce and only cook with non-perishable foreign ingredients that I’ve purchased myself on travels, mostly. Unless it’s soy sauce or wasabi or….well, you know what what I mean.
Anyhow, the golden enoki from South Korea came home in my shopping bag, and did a gangnam style move on my taste buds in the kitchen. The mushroom is nutty and floral and I knew would benefit from as little cooking as possible. Just a quick saute in a hot pan with a splash of peanut oil.
Together with chicken, red chilli and pak choi I made a stir fry and added fresh papaya slices at the end – the smooth, cooling fruit added a fresh honey-sweetness that complimented the chilli. The dish is lightening quick to make but the combination of textures and flavours makes it feel a lot more complex. This stir fry is crunchy, spicy, nutty (from the enoki) and sweet.
Use any exotic mushrooms and baby spinach will also do if you can’t get pak choi.