Three weeks ago with a few minutes to kill before the chow lunch at Sam Lok, I picked up some groceries in San Francisco Chinatown to make my contribution for a wine tasting and dinner party the next day. The assignment: make an appetizer to pair with ultra-premium Grüner Veltliner wines. GVs are among my favorite wines. Often described as Sauvignon Blanc-like, Austrias special grape also has elements of Viognier and Riesling. I wanted to demonstrate how well they complement Asian ingredients and chose tastes from the Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese flavor palette.
Buzzing through Lien Hing on Stockton Street, I bought king oyster mushrooms, mustard green hearts, and banh cuon made by Hons. Additional ingredients came from Asian Market (1110 Petaluma Hill Road, 707-545-9618) in Santa Rosa. Total cost was less than $10, which included $2 for a bottle of sriracha chili sauce that will last a long time.
The king oyster mushrooms were only $1.79/lb., now back up to $2.50/lb. As the name implies, theyre giant (as shown below lined up with the 8 chef knife) and prized for the plump stems. To prep for the salad I had planned, each one was cut into four lengthwise slices.