The first time I discovered that one could make fried oyster mushroom tasted like fried chicken was almost a decade ago. It was at that time when my beloved nephew Kyle did not want to eat anything else except ‘fried chicken’. Of course, I needed to feed him and that’s how I came about frying oyster mushrooms. Luckily, Kyle loved it and he did not notice any difference. It was only several years after when I made my ‘confession’ that it wasn’t a ‘real’ chicken. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Ping Gu Crispy Fried Oyster Mushroom Fries during my recent visit at Cucina Andare.
Joven’s original family business had something to do with handicrafts. But for some reason, after winning Entrepreneur magazine’s the Search for the Big Food Entrepreneur in 2012, which eventually earned them enough capital to start a new business, Ping Gu Crispy Oyster Mushroom Fries was born. They tested the waters in the said business in January of 2013 when they first opened in another foodie haven Mezza Norte. After five months, they now have another branch at Cucina Andare.
I asked Ms. Joven how they’re able to maintain the oyster mushroom’s quality considering the heat in the country. You see, oyster mushrooms can be quite difficult to handle as improper handling could lead to changes in appearance from ivory white to yellowish and from soft to slimy. According to Ms. Joven, they’re very strict when it comes to oyster mushroom standards. “They are delivered to us freshly harvested at around 3 or 4AM.” Ping Gu sourced their oyster mushrooms from Nasugbu, Batangas but eventually Joven had expressed her desire to have their own mushrooms.
Okay, so what is it about Ping Gu Crispy Oyster Mushroom Fries? It is very light yet tasty. It comes in three different dipping sauces: ketsup (for the conventional ones), gravy (best for kids, again I was right it tasted like chicken!) or Sweet Chilli sauce for an added kick! It is available in three sizes: Single Serve is at 100 grams for only Php79, Double Serving is at 200 grams for Php149 and Triple Serving or Family Size at 300 grams for Php229.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.