My parents used to sell skewered fried beef lungs (baga ng baka) on the streets at the town where I grew up. This small business helped put food on our table for years. While I meant this was our livelihood, it literally put food on our table because any leftover unsold skewered beef lungs is transformed into bopis. This is one of my favorite dish. It's beef lungs sauteed with carrots, radish, and all those other ingredients my Pa used to add in. It has been a while since I last ate bopis and truth be told, I don't know how to cook. I never really asked my parents to teach me how to, and quite frankly, they don't trust me in the kitchen back in the day. It's always a disaster.
Luckily, I have my good friend, Google now to help me with any dish I want to cook. The only challenge now is that my family is on the road to a meat free diet. We started on tofu dishes. Now, we're moving on to the next meat free option: mushrooms.
A friend of mine shared a recipe on facebook and it got me curious. I haven't tried cooking shitake mushrooms before, and bopis isn't in my cooking arsenal. So why not try it, right? What could go wrong?
Dried Shitake mushrooms
Dried bay leaf
Salt & pepper
It was difficult to find dried shitake mushrooms in the wet market near our place. All they had was black fungus (more commonly known as tengang daga). I thought this was the one so I bought it. I only found out I was wrong when I went to the supermarket where the dried shitake mushroom and tengang daga were placed beside each other and I had a good look at them. So now, I have both black fungus and shitake mushrooms in my pantry, both I use in my cooking because they said these have umami, so why not.
I only found anatto seeds in the grocery so I had to soak these first in canola oil and waited for the oil to turn red before cooking.
My friend warned me that the preparation was a bit too tedious and complicated so I made sure I watched and rewatched the video over and over. The first thing you'd want to do is soak the mushrooms in hot water for at 30 minutes. Now, while that's soaking, you can go ahead and start with the other ingredients.
The onions and garlic need to be minced. Ginger needs to be crushed. Bell peppers need to be chopped into small cubes. The same goes with the carrots and potatoes.
Time flies by when you're having fun. By the time you're done with the rest of the ingredients, 30 minutes is up. It's time to drain the soaked mushrooms. Don't throw away all the mushroom water. You'll need some for later. Wring the mushrooms as you drain them, make sure to remove all the excess water from the shrooms. Chop them into small cubes as well.
These mushrooms are the first to go into the pan. Use the anatto oil to sautee the mushrooms. Toss and turn for a few minutes then add the garlic, then the onions, then the ginger. Mix them all together. Add the dried bay leaf.
Next, add the carrots and potatoes. Give these ingredients extra time to be soft enough but still a bit crunchy. Mix thoroughly to make sure the flavors are infused together. If you see the carrots and potatoes are getting nicely cooked, add some of the mushroom water. This dish shouldn't be too watery but it shouldn't be too dry either. So just play this by ear.
Add the vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce. If you're going for a full vegan dish, choose a vegan alternative for fish sauce. I heard there's carp sauce which is vegan. I haven't tried this so I'm sticking with fish sauce on this one. Add sugar and the calamansi juice. Tadte to see if you need to add more vinegar or sugar.
I was anxious to serve this to my daughter because this is something the whole family haven't tried yet. My husband tried it first and he really liked it. Next to try it is my daughter, and she approves! It might be because we trained her to eat a variety of vegetables since the first time we introduced solid food to her.
Mushroom is a great replacement for meat because as you can see with my Bopeace, it kinda looks like the real thing. And guess what, it tastes just as good. :)
@romeskie is a full-time stay-at-home mom to a homeschooling toddler. Loves crocheting as a hobby. Maintains a mini food forest, aiming to grow more to achieve that farm-to-table homesteading. Learned how to cook after leaving the corporate world to take care of her family and is now starting to acquire basic baking skills. Learn more about her adventures and misadventures in the world of motherhood.
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