May 5, 2013

Cooking Maitake/マイタケを調理する

I am very particular about how to cook maitake. The two most important things to remember are NOT to rinse maitake (and other mushrooms as well) and NOT to overcook it.
NOTE: I'm talking about cultured maitake and other mushrooms. I do wash wild mushrooms to remove dirt and any tiny worms that may be hiding in them.
I decided to use half the 500 g maitake in miso soup and stir-fry the other half with butter, as usual (I can't think of better ways to cook this mushroom...).
いつも通り、500 gのマイタケの半分を味噌汁に入れ、残りの半分はバター炒めにすることにしました(このきのこを調理する、より良い方法が考え付かないので...)。
I tore the maitake with my hands, not with a knife.
I put some water in a pot, added maitake and some instant dashi, and brought to a boil.
I stopped the heat immediately, and added some miso. Finished. The maitake will cook as long as it's hot.
I put the other half in a frying pan, sprinkled 1/2 tsp salt, turned on the heat, and "simmered" with a lid on.
I added some butter, and repeated the steps of "simmering" and stir-frying several time. Finally, I added some soy sauce and additional butter, and turned off the heat.
Again, I refrained from overcooking the maitake.


Sissi said...

I have never had maitake, but I have just read it's cultivated in Switzerland (but I have never seen it sold).
It's apparently very healthy!
I do wash many wild mushrooms: chanterelles (the yellow mushrooms) are often full of sand and it's impossible to get rid of it just with wiping. I agree though that it's better to avoid water.
By the way, I have just tasted my edible chrysanthemum growing on the balcony. It's delicious! I must think what to do with it. (And mizuna grows like crazy! I'm really happy because Japanese grocery shop sells it maybe two weeks a year; wilted and very expensive).

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Sorry, I was talking about cultured maitake and other mushrooms. I will make some corrections later. I do wash wild mushrooms like you do.

You mean shungiku (春菊)? My wife likes it a lot, but I'm not a big fan. I like mizuna. It's good in soup and salad!

Sissi said...

In France (and here) many chefs advise against washing even wild mushrooms! I was very glad when I once saw a Japanese-French chef, who said "I prefer my mushrooms to be slightly soaked in water rather than serving my clients a dish with sand". I totally agree. Big mushrooms sometimes can be cleaned with a moist towels, but small ones, with many holes... not possible!
Yes, I meant shungiku. I bought two different varieties at 100 yen shop last year. One of them is growing like crazy, but I admit it's not a "go everywhere" taste. It's a bit bitter, so I will not use is as often as mizuna.
How does your wife serve it? I have heard only about nabe, but with the spring weather I don't eat soups often...
My yuzu plants are already 7-8 cm high! I hope they will not die... I will keep them as ornamental house plants. Not a chance they would have a fruit here, even in 100 years ;-)

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Here in Japan, no one washes matsutake, the most expensive wild mushroom in Japan.

My wife likes to serve it as part of "sukini" (similar to sukiyaki, but the meat is pork not beef) and nimono. You can simply boil it to eat as ohitashi, you can stir-fry with other ingredients, and you can also deep-fry it as tempura.

Congratulations on your yuzu plants! I hope they will grow into big trees and bear fruit in... 10-20 years from now!

Fräulein Trude said...

There are some mushrooms which should never come in contact with much water as boletus / cepes (they are sponges by nature) but I always wash chantarelles - they are heavy loaded with dirt (sand, pine needles, soil). Some chefs?! recommend to put lots of black pepper in a chantarelle dish - no one will ever know wether this small black particle is dirt or simply pepper(laugh)

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: Sadly, I'm not familiar with any of the wild mushrooms you mentioned, but anyway, it's good to know that chantarelles must be washed.

>black pepper

That's a very clever idea!!!

Sissi said...

Haha! I like to see yuzu plants as a constant souvenir of my first trip to Japan... I will be already happy if they don't die. The leaves are really cute (in Europe peopl buy special mini-mandarin plants as decoration, they are not edible, but have small decorative fruits and lovely glossy leaves; very similar to yuzu's).
Thank you so much for the shungiku use ideas. I like especially tempura and stir-frying ideas. I have just picked a branch and was surprised how quickly it wilts! Luckily it's on my balcony. They grow very quickly so I have to hurry!
I have seen matsutake when in Tokyo last year... very very expensive! I preferred to buy a wasabi root instead. It looked sturdy enough to be transported to Europe (and it didn't suffer at all).

Sissi said...

Kiki, pepper is an excellent idea :-)
I also always wash chanterelles, but as you said ceps should be handled with care.
I have just started to long for chanterelles! They will soon appear here!