Stir fry dish in frypan

Immune-boosting shiitake and vegetable stir-fry

In Diet, Nutrition and Recipes, Health and Nutrition by Casey Conroy0 Comments

Here’s one of my favourite autumn recipes, using the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, and based on a recipe from my Chinese-Malay mum! It’s quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious – and it’s vegan; so everyone can enjoy this one!

Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) were a favourite ingredient in my mum’s Chinese cooking while I was growing up, and I still love them today. They’re packed with flavour, have a great chewy texture and make an incredible meat alternative.

Their powerful immune-modulating and anti-tumour actions make them ideal as an adjunct therapy in cancer, for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Other medicinal mushrooms include maitake, reishi, and chaga. I often wonder how different our collective state of health would be if we routinely offered our kids traditional foods like these? I also chucked in a little Korean ginseng for extra staying power!


Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chilli paste (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup okra, trimmed
  • 1 cup wombok cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup eggplant, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced and dried shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes)
  • 1 teaspoon Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) root, sliced and dried OR powdered (optional)


  1. Place dried shiitake mushrooms into a bowl and pour boiling water over the top. Let them sit for 15 minutes while you chop the veggies, then drain and set mushrooms aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add ginger, onions, drained mushrooms, and carrots and let cook for 1 minute. Add ginseng, garlic, chilli, eggplant, okra, broccoli and wombok. Put a lid on wok and let cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Toss and continue to cook and toss without a lid for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add sesame oil and toss again. Cook for another 3 minutes until liquid has cooked off and vegetables are tender.
  4. Top with chopped spring onions and serve with brown rice for a warming, hearty, and immune-boosting meal!


You don’t need all of these veggies; whatever you have in the fridge will do. These are just some of my favourite Asian veggies, and it happens to be market day today, so I could get them all!


Dr Casey Conroy is a holistic, dietitian, nutritionist and yoga teacher situated on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

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