mock eel japanese
Romulo Yanes

Meaty shiitake mushrooms mimic the texture of eel in this sticky-sauced stir-fry from Portland, Oregon, restaurant BTU Brasserie. This recipe first appeared with the 2015 SAVEUR 100 item Save the Eels.

Yield: serves 4


  • 7 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 12 cup cornstarch
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (1″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 13 cup soy sauce
  • 14 cup sugar


  1. Combine mushrooms and water in a bowl; let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms and slice 1⁄3″ thick; squeeze dry.
  2. Heat 2″ oil in a 14″ flat-bottomed wok until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Toss mushrooms with cornstarch. Working in batches, fry mushrooms until crisp, 1–2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tbsp. oil from wok; heat over medium-high. Cook three-quarters of scallions and the ginger until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 1–2 minutes. Stir in reserved mushrooms; cook 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter; garnish with remaining scallions.