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Braised Sea Cucumbers with Mushrooms

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Mixture (1)

1/2 tablespoon rice wine
2 stalks green onions
4 slices ginger
1/4 teaspoon MSG (optional)
3 pre-conditioned sea cucumbers (1 pound)
2 cups water
6 green onions (1 and 1/4 sections)
6 slices ginger, oil snow pea pods and sliced carrots

Mixture (2)

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup stock
3 large Chinese black mushrooms
2/3 cup bamboo shoots (bite-size pieces)
1 teaspoon rice wine

Mixture (3)

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut each cucumber lengthwise in half, cut diagonally into 6 sections. Soften black mushrooms in warm water, remove and discard stems. Squeeze out water. Heat wok or pan and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add mixture (1) and stir-fry until fragrant. Add 2 cups water and heat to boil. Add prepared sea cucumbers, cook for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and drain. Set mixture aside.

Heat pan and add 3 tablespoons oil until very hot. Add sliced onions, ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the sea cucumbers, rice wine, black mushrooms, bamboo shoots and carrots, and mixture (2). Simmer covered for 10 minutes over low heat, or until the liquid is almost half of original amount. Add mixture (3) to thicken. Add snow pea pods, sesame oil, and toss lightly until pods are crispy tender.

Remove to a serving plate and serve immediately.

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