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Mock Eel

20 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 qts. peanut oil for frying
2 cups cornstarch
1 tsp. peanut oil
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, minced
3 Tbsp. scallions, sliced thin on a bias
1/4 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup organic sugar

• Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms in boiling water until tender.
• With scissors, cut the mushroom caps into earthworm-shaped strips.
• Heat the 2 qts. peanut oil to 375°F.
• Coat the shiitake strips with cornstarch and fry until golden. Let drain as you prepare the sauce.
• Heat a wok over medium heat and add the 1 tsp. peanut oil.
• Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and cook, being careful not to burn the garlic and ginger.
• Add the soy sauce and the sugar. Adjust the flavor if too sweet or too salty.
• Add the shiitake strips and toss until well coated and most of the sauce is absorbed.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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