The people of the Hunan region in China are known for their love of sweet and spicy combinations. This easy dish is inspired by these strong flavour profiles. Save time by buying ready-to-eat vermicelli rice noodles.
This recipe calls for aquafaba: this is the beige liquid found in tinned chickpeas. It acts as a thickening agent and egg substitute, making it perfect for panko-ing the mushrooms to give them a crispy texture.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes
Two, as a starter or a light main meal
For the mushrooms
- 500g shimeji mushrooms, separated
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- Pinch of Chinese five spice
- 2 tbsp potato flour or cornflour
- 3 tbsp aquafaba
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- 6 sprays of low-calorie olive oil
For the sauce
- 1 tsp rapeseed oil
- 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, finely grated
- 4 long, dried chillies
- 1 tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- Juice and zest of 1 large orange
For the salad
- 1 head of romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
- ½ cucumber, cut into half-moon slices
- 1 large carrot, cut into fine matchsticks
- 200g ready-to-eat vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- Spring onion curls, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
- Lay the mushrooms on a roasting tray and season with the salt, pepper and Chinese five spice.
- Place the flour, aquafaba and panko breadcrumbs in three separate dishes. One at a time, dip each mushroom into the flour, covering and coating well, then into the aquafaba, and finally quickly dip into the breadcrumbs. Once coated, return to the roasting tray and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
- Spray the mushrooms with olive oil, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes until crispy.
- Meanwhile, heat a wok over a high heat until smoking. Once hot, add the rapeseed oil, then add the ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Next, add the chillies, tamari or soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and orange zest and juice. Bring to the boil and reduce until thickened.
- When the mushrooms are ready, remove them from the oven. Drizzle the sauce over the crispy mushrooms and toss to coat.
- Serve the mushrooms on a bed of lettuce, cucumber, carrot and rice noodles. Drizzle over more of the sauce if you like. Sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds and top with spring onion curls. Serve immediately.
Recipe from Asian Green by Ching-He Huang (Kyle Books, £20). Order a copy from books.telegraph.co.uk.