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Stir Fried Spicy Thai Puffball Mushroom With Pork
I love mushrooms. I have no idea how many kinds of mushroom I have consumed. All I know is there is none of them I do not like. Mushroom has an incredible crunchy texture, and it also has a spongy part that can soak up the sauce and ingredients so well.
In my hometown; ChiangMai Thailand, there is a wild mushroom called "Hed Thob / Hed Poh." This mushroom is a must to eat at least once in a lifetime if you have a chance. First, it has a limited area to be found which is only in North and Northeast of Thailand. Second, it is a seasonal mushroom, and it only comes out at the beginning of rainy season. Last is it has a fantastic texture and taste (crunchy outside and soft inside with a bit of sweetness). By the way, people are calling the Thai puffball mushroom "Hed Thob / Hed Poh" because the mushroom is so crunchy, and it pops when you are eating it.
The Thai puffball mushroom price varies which depends on demand and supply. The range of the price is 200-500 Baht for one kilogram (2.2 lb.) which is about $6-14 / kg. If you have been in Thailand, you would know how cheap the food is there ($1-2 for a Pad Thai Shrimp), and with this price, it is counted as an expensive mushroom.
There are two types of Thai puffball mushroom. The young mushroom which has a white color inside, and the old mushroom which is black inside. The young Thai puffball mushroom is more popular than the old one because its skin is not too hard to chew like the old one. Too bad that I can't pick the kind of Thai puff ball mushroom I prefer here because they are all in the can.
I found an article of Chef Andy Ricker's interview (the author of Pok Pok cookbook and Pok Pok restaurants) when I was searching for the Thai puffball mushroom information, and he mentioned about this mushroom. How unique it is and how it keeps him going back to Thailand to pursue his cooking knowledge. He said he did not have the Thai puffball mushroom in his restaurant or cookbook because it does not exist in here. I understand his point of view. It is better to have fresh ingredients. Since we may not be able to fly to Thailand and experience the knowledge. I think we fortunate to have can food that allows us to have such an exotic experience and also to remind me about my hometown food.
Different Ways to Use It
There are so many recipes to cook the mushroom such as boil it with salt as a side dish for spicy galangal dip, simmer it with coconut milk, curry, and meat, or stir fried with chili, herbs, and meat. I was craving spicy food, so I chose to do a stir fry recipe. The original recipe calls for Thai puffball mushroom, choice of meat, chili paste, cooking oil, chili paste, young tamarind leaves, and some fish sauce and sugar as desired. I could not find the tamarind leaves. Thus I substituted it with kaffir lime leaves.
- • ½ lb. sliced pork
- • 1 can drained Thai puffball mushroom (8 oz.), wash and cut half
- • 1 can drained bamboo shoot (10 oz.)
- • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- • 5 kaffir lime leaves
- • 1 tablespoon olive oil
- • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- • ½ teaspoon Truvia
- • water
- Heat olive oil in a wok on high.
- Add sliced pork, stir fry until there is no pink color on it.
- Add red curry paste and ½ cup of water.
- Add bamboo shoot and Thai puffball mushroom and another ½ cup of water.
- Flavor it with fish sauce and Truvia, and stir fry for few minutes or until the bamboo shoot is cooked.
- Turn off the stove and serve with brown rice.