Today I want to introduce you to a popular dish in Korea vegetarian restaurants: sweet, sour, and crunchy mushrooms, called beoseot-tangsu. It’s very similar to the sweet and sour pork version, tangsuyuk, but it uses shiitake mushrooms instead of meat. You can use any mushrooms but we usually use dried shiitake mushrooms in this recipe because after soaking them the texture is very chewy and meaty, they feel and taste like real meat. They also are very good for you and nutritious, with a lot of vitamin D, which is another reason so many Korean vegetarian buffets and temple cuisine restaurants serve this dish.

A good timesaving tip is not to stir the starch powder once you add the water to it. I used to stir it all the time and it took almost 2 hours to settle. But I found that if I didn’t stir I got the same results in 30 minutes! I’m always learning something new. : )

If you want something healthy but still delicious try this out. Everyone who tries it loves it!


Serves 4

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 12 large dried shiitake mushrooms, washed and soaked in cold water until soft (4 hours to overnight)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ of an egg white
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup cubed seedless cucumber, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ⅓ cup cubed red-fleshed nectarines, plums, or apple (½-inch cubes)
  • 2 canned pineapple rings (⅓ cup), cut into ½-inch pieces, plus ½ cup juice from the can
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Prepare the batter and the mushrooms

  1. Add ½ cup potato starch and 2 cups of water to a bowl. Do not mix, just let it sit until the starch settles to the bottom of the bowl, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Drain the mushrooms and remove the stems. Save the stems and the water to make stew someday (like doenjang-jjigae).
  3. Slice each mushroom a few times into bite size pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons soy sauce and the ground black pepper. Mix well and cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Coat the mushrooms and and fry

  1. When ready to cook, heat 1½ inches vegetable oil in a large, deep pan over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 330º to 340º F, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the mushrooms from the refrigerator, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the potato starch, and mix well by hand to coat evenly.
  3. Pour off the water from the starch mixture, so you are left with the solidified starch at the bottom of the bowl. Add the egg white to the soaked starch and stir together with a spoon until smooth.
  4. Add the starch mixture to the mushrooms and mix by hand.
  5. Working in batches, gently drop the mushroom pieces into the oil. They will puff up and float to the surface.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown and a little crunchy, about 8 minutes. If the mushroom pieces have stuck together in the oil, gently separate them with tongs and a slotted spoon.
  7. Transfer the fried mushrooms to a strainer set over a bowl to drain. Reserve the oil.

Make the sauce

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon potato starch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 minute until the onion looks half translucent.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 cup water, the pineapple juice, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Stir well until the sugar is melted and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir the starch slurry with a spoon and gradually stir it into the boiling sauce. Cook until the sauce is thick and shiny, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Fry the mushrooms again

  1. Reheat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 330-340º F.
  2. Add all the mushrooms to the hot oil and fry, stirring with tongs, until all the pieces are golden brown and very crunchy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl to drain the excess oil. Arrange on a large platter.


  1. Reheat the sauce over high heat until bubbling. Add the nectarine, pineapple, and cucumber and stir for
    1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce comes back to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the fried mushrooms. Serve right away.

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  1. KateM Philadelphia joined 11/22 & has 1 comment

    This is one of the most delicious and addictive recipes I have made in a long time. One thing that makes a huge difference is the cold soak rehydration of the dried shiitakes. I used to rehydrate quickly with hot water, but a long cold soak makes a big difference in flavor

  2. latest2021 India joined 12/21 & has 1 comment

    wow. its super. i really love to cook.

  3. EnIUmma Illinois joined 1/19 & has 5 comments

    I love your recipes. I was wondering if there is any equivalent replacement for the egg white? My son is allergic, but I would love to make this for him.

  4. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 311 comments

    What a terrific video!
    (mix – flip – mix – flip “I love multitasking” lol!)

    Beam me to Maangchi, Scotty!

  5. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 311 comments

    Dear Maangchi,

    You might want to edit step 2 of “serving”…
    ? ;-)

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