Recipe: Jollof Fonio and Braised King Oyster Mushroom Char-Siu

Dec 21, 2020


We may not be able to travel this holiday season, but with the right ingredients and a little imagination, you can go on a global food adventure in your own kitchen! Adventist Health’s Chef Nina Curtis shares her recipes for Senegalese Jollof Fonio and Vietnamese-Style Braised King Oyster Mushroom Char-Siu.

Senegalese Jollof Fonio

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 cups cooked fonio* (I like this one)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and medium dice
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup carrots, small dice
  • ½ cup bell peppers, small dice
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, grapeseed, sesame seed, rice bran oil, or other
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)*
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


In a deep pan, over medium-high heat, add oil, onions, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno and sauté until soft. Add minced garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and stir, then add in vegetable broth and peas, stir, bring to a boil and then let simmer for ten minutes. Fold in the cooked fonio, stir together and let simmer for ten more minutes. Check seasoning to taste. Serve hot.

Using Scotch bonnet peppers: Traditionally Scotch Bonnet peppers are used in many West African/Senegalese dishes. If you can find them, use the whole Scotch Bonnet while cooking your Jollof and then remove before serving.

Scotch bonnet, also known as bonney peppers, or Caribbean red peppers, is a variety of chili pepper named for its resemblance to a tam o' shanter hat. It is ubiquitous in West Africa. Most Scotch bonnets have a heat rating of 100,000–350,000 Scoville units.

Vietnamese-Style Braised King Oyster Mushroom Char-Siu

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 large king oyster mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup tepid water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoon fermented black bean sauce (I like this one)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (your favorite brand)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground Chinese five-spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


Prepare mushrooms: Clean and score mushrooms by poking with a fork, all over the mushrooms so that the sauces can marinate completely through while braising.

In a deep pan, over medium heat, add the toasted sesame seed oil, Chinese five-spice, ginger, Sichuan pepper, bay leaf and salt. Cook two minutes, until you begin to smell the aromatics from the spices.

Place the mushrooms in the deep pan with the spices, add maple syrup, black bean and hoisin sauces, sauté, turning completely to coat, cook three minutes each side. Deglaze with soy sauce, rice wine and water, cover with a lid, lower to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remover lid and continue to reduce braising liquid to half, so the sauce thickens.

Serve with Senegalese Jollof Fonio.

Chef Nina Curtis