We have made quite a few tasty recipes from the Longrain cookbook, Modern Thai Food, with a great deal of success. Until the other night. The recipe in question was “Grilled Stuffed Calamari”, which was stuffed with minced pork and Chinese black fungus.
Midway through preparation, with my hands full of minced pork, coriander roots, and fish sauce, Ritsy grabs the 100g packet of dried mushrooms, empties them into a bowl, and moves towards the sink to rehydrate them. All of them.
I tried to explain that there was no way anywhere near that many dried mushrooms were necessary for a 200g quantity of minced pork – but she insisted that the recipe said 4 0z dried black fungus – which, indeed, it did. I decided that the only way to teach Ritsy rule #1 in cooking (don’t trust the recipe), was to let her follow it.
The next 20 minutes were quite comical – the rehydrating fungus slowly expanded out of the bowl, like a volcano slowly oozing lava. They ended up taking up a whole large colander. This was the point in time that Ritsy truly learnt rule #1.
For the record, I ended up using about 4 grams of dried mushrooms. I also used two regular sized squid tubes instead of the baby squid (they are too hard to get from the local fishmonger).
The end result – aside from a bin full of wet mushrooms – was another great dinner out of this fantastic little cookbook.