Stuffed Shiitake Medaillons

This quick starter was devised as a way to finish the extra filling we had after making Watercress Dumplings. It is inspired by one of my favorite dim sum entrees, stuffed shiitake mushrooms. In this case, I re-hydrated dried shiitake mushrooms, and filled them with the meat filling we already had, surrounded them with broth and sake, and baked them for 25 minutes. Before serving, they were glazed with a spicy hoisin mixture and sprinkled with green onions. Voila! An easy first course or appetizer, or even a light lunch or dinner when paired with rice and a light soup such as miso soup.

Serves 4 persons as a first course, 2 as a main course

10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated (For directions, see Braised Shiitake Mushrooms)
1/4 Quantity of Watercress-Pork Filling for Dumplings
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup sake
2 stalks scallions, washed and trimmed and sliced
3 TBL hoisin sauce
1-2 tsp sriracha (Thai hot red pepper sauce, preferably the Huy Foo Foods brand from Rosemead, CA — look for the rooster)
1 tsp mirin (seasoned sake)
1/2 tsp raw sugar

Combine hoisin, sriracha, mirin and sugar. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 350F.

Gently squeeze shiitake dry and trim stems. Fill mushroom caps with 1-2 tsp of Dumpling Filling, depending on size of cap. Place caps in 2 qt/L baking dish, or other oven-proof dish that will snugly hold all the caps in a single layer. Brush filling with sesame oil. Pour broth and sake around caps, if needed add water or other liquid so that it comes half way up the caps. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes or until filling is cooked through.

Brush or spoon hoisin mixture over filling, and return to oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions before serving.