Sometimes I get my big king oyster mushrooms at a local Asian supermarket. And when I do, I can rarely resist the aromatic herb varieties right next to it. Like what is sold as Vietnamese coriander, Rau Ram: chop it, mix it with fresh lime juice and a little crushed garlic and sprinkle that over your sautéed mushrooms.

King oyster mushrooms, or pleurotus eryngii, are tall, fat stemmed and small-capped mushrooms. They have a fabulous meaty chew. That, matched with its savory taste that has an intriguing sweet, almost anise like hint to it, makes the king oyster mushroom perfect for any meatless meal!

King Oyster Mushrooms & Kumquat Gremolata

Serves 3-4

  • 4 large king mushrooms (or double if you have smaller ones)
  • Olive oil to brush mushrooms
  • Lemon (to finish)
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (I use sea salt flakes)
  • orange gremolata to taste
  • Good extra-virgin olive oil to finish
  • 5–6 kumquats
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, mince
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 good pinch salt

Slice the king mushrooms lengthwise into ½-inch slices. Heat a nonstick skillet. Brush mushroom slices lightly with olive oil and pan-grill for 2–3 minutes, turning regularly, until softened and lightly caramelized. Season to taste with a couple squirts fresh lemon, pepper and salt.

For the kumquat gremolata, cut the kumquats in half and remove pulp. Cut the skin into thin strips and mix with the chopped parsley and minced garlic. Give it all a couple more good chops and season to taste with cayenne and salt (I use sea salt flakes).

Divide mushrooms over plates (stack 4–5 slices mushroom for main course), spoon some kumquat gremolata on top, drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Tip: If you have carrot tops, use that instead of parsley, or use a combination of the two. Also, if you can’t find kumquats, use orange zest!