Meat-free Mondays: Black Pepper Mushrooms

This recipe comes from the Qantas inflight magazine, November 2008 edition, and unfortunately the tear sheet doesn’t show whom it should be attributed to.

Beef fillet was used in the original but Monsieur D substituted mushrooms (white and/or brown, Swiss: whatever was available) and it soon became a signature dish in Chez Wayville.

Being a stir-fry, I don’t think the quantities of ingredients such as oyster and soy, kecap manis (Indonesian syrupy soy) matter that much – it’s about personal taste. Start with less, you can always add more but you can’t take away.

As the original recipe also says, this dish relies on the freshness of the peppercorns, so buy them in small amounts regularly and crush them. This goes well with or without rice and a side dish of steamed greens. Serves 2


All of these mushrooms would work. Picture: 

All of these mushrooms would work. Picture: 


A bag of mushrooms, about 350g cut into meaty (ha ha) chunks

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 small Spanish

onion, diced

1 red capsicum, diced

2 long red chillies, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons of black peppercorns crushed

2 tablespoons of vegetable stock (if you were using beef this could be chicken stock)

2 teaspoons of light soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

2 teaspoons of shaoxing wine (or sherry)

1-2 teaspoons of kecap manis


Heat a wok until smoking (apparently that’s the breath of a wok).

Add half the oil and when hot, stir-fry the mushrooms in batches until nearly cooked. Remove mushrooms and excess liquid.

Add rest of the oil, and when hot stir onion, capsicum, chilli, garlic and pepper until fragrant and onion is softened.

Return the mushrooms and any liquid to wok and stir-fry a bit more.

Add soy, oyster, shaoxing and kecap manis – when mushrooms are nicely coated and the sauce has reduced slightly, remove and serve.

On a non-meat-free day you could use 350g of beef, chicken, pork or lamb. If using meat, make a marinade of the shaoxing, kecap manis and 1 teaspoon of oyster. Coat the meat and leave for 20 minutes.