If you’ve been to either of the big markets in Cape Town, you’ve probably sampled one of the amazing grilled mushroom kebabs from Funki Fungi. There have been times where we’ve gone to a market specifically because of those mushrooms on a stick and we’re not ashamed to admit it.
Their salt and seasoning are so good, and the herb flavours are so layered that, to be honest, I have no idea what they put in it all. But here we are, with braai season just around the corner and a little tiny umami craving – trying to make it our own for days that the markets aren’t open. Like, you know, every day except a Saturday. I think the trick with these skewers is to cook them slowly on the grill and to keep layering the herb oil and seasoning. So you’re going to need your basting brush!
You can have some fun with the flavour of your oil. Add a little Bragg Liquid Aminos if you’d like to add a saltier, Asian twist to the basting oil. Or maybe a squeeze of lemon to lift the earthiness of the mushrooms. Whatever you do, make a little more of it than you think as the longer it grills for, more layers of flavour you’ll be able to brush on.
These skewers are a great little addition to any braai – vegan or not! and are a tasty side or snack. Each mushroom is slightly different in texture, flavour and meatiness, so experiment here. Both markets have a wide array of fungi and the Funki Fungi team have plenty – as well as a few ‘grow your own’ kits.
Mushroom varieties have different health benefits too. They’re all a good source of Vitamin D though! Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of this critical vitamin. Like us humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when in sunlight. When it comes to antioxidants, we’re more likely to think of colourful vegetables than neutral-hued mushrooms. But a recent study showed that the oxygen radical absorbance capacity — a measure of a food’s total antioxidants — of crimini and portobello mushrooms were about the same as for red peppers. So we added them too!
B Vitamins are vital for turning food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body burns to produce energy. They also help the body metabolize fats and protein. Mushrooms contain loads of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin): 100 grams (31/2 ounces) of crimini have 44% and 30% of your daily recommended amount, respectively, white button have 36 and 30%, and oyster mushrooms have 32 and 39%. B Vitamins are also vital to helping the body deal with stress.
Even though there are health advantages to eating mushrooms, the best part for us will definitely be walking around the farmers market snacking on these, hot off the grill and covered in herbs, chatting about the week and the seasonal produce on offer.
Food is always sentimental and maybe the idea of these come rain or shine outings with friends is the thing that binds these skewers to memory; or maybe they’re just that good! We’ll let you try them and decide for yourselves.
- 300 grams Exotic Mushroom Mix (mix of shiitake, king oyster and shimeji mushrooms)
- 2 Red Peppers de-seeded
- 6 Herb Skewers
- 30 grams Fresh Parsley chopped
- 20 grams Fresh Thyme leaves picked and stems discarded
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves crushed/finely chopped
Chop the large shiitake mushrooms in half, and slice the king oyster mushrooms into 1 cm thick rounds.
Half each red pepper, de-seed and chop into 2cm squares.
Start adding your ingredients to the skewers, alternating between types of mushrooms and red peppers.
To make the herb oil; add all ingredients to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Using a pastry brush brush the herb oil over the mushroom skewers, making sure to coat all sides evenly.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and grill your mushroom skewers until brown and golden, approximately 4 minutes per side, coating with herb oil as you go.
Enjoy while hot.
- This recipe is perfect for a grill pan or alternatively, you can create the perfect smokey herb skewer on the braai.
- Feel free to add any veggies that are seasonal or floating in your fridge.