blue foot mushroom, chopsticks, maitake mushrooms, mushrooms, nonedible obsessions, spiteful exs, stir fry, yellow food mushroom

The $25 Stir Fry

I have this thing with chopsticks. Actually, I’m a lazy collector of them. I use to be much better about it, searching out some lovely ones in Chinatown every trip I made from Albany. Truthfully, one of the hardest things that I had to do when my ex and I split up was to split the collection with her. Outside of my library of Grateful Dead bootlegs, which meant nothing to her, I placed very little sentiment on possessions. So, she knew she could strike deepest at me–which was more than understandable as it was I that was leaving her–by taking something that meant so much to me. So, she was left with 30 pairs of them. And I kind of gave up on it.

But, tell me you’re traveling somewhere and I’ll tell you that I collect them and that you should pick me up a pair. When the Missus went to Iqaluit, I requested a pair–maybe something out of a tusk?. When her mother traveled to Bhutan, I had hoped for a blessed pair. Going to Puerto Rico? No matter, I’m sure they have them somewhere down there–steal a pair from a restaurant.. I won’t tell. I’m tossing around the notion to expand my collection and include eating utensils outside of a typical knife/spoon/fork setting. Every culture has something, so I deduce this will expand my options of getting something from a friend traveling far from where we are here. Not a bad plan, right?

But, plotting and scheming wasn’t the reason to get on this diatribe. I was actually thinking about my chopstick obsession because I found myself trying to decide which pair I wanted to eat dinner with tonight. I chose a newer pair, a gift from the Missus, made of bamboo. And with them I ate

An orange and garlic stir fry of beef, red pepper, white asparagus, bok choy, maitake mushrooms

Yellow foot Mushrooms–which are nearly identical to Chanterelles– and

and Blue foot Mushrooms.

Sesame-Ginger Beef and Asparagus Stir Fry


  • 1 pound lean top sirloin, sliced into thin strips–I used hanger steak
  • 2 Tspn cornstarch–I used about 1/4 cp flour
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 bunches of Bok Choy, cleaned and halved
  • 1 red pepper, julianned
  • 1 small bunch green onions, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup beef broth–I used Trader Joes Soyaki Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)–I used Oyster Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar–I used juice of 1 navel orange


  • Combine beef and cornstarch in large bowl. Using hands, rub to coat well.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add beef in single layer and cook, undisturbed, until meat begins to blacken on bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until second side browns, about 1 minute. Transfer beef to large plate.

  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, green onions, and ginger; sauté until vegetables are tinged brown and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to boil. Return beef to skillet and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to platter and serve.

**Some changes/additions to ingredients, but the cooking method was the same