Foodstuff: Enokitake

Enokitake, or Enoki Mushrooms, are commonly used in Japanese cookery, as much (and indeed probably more) for their pretty appearance as for flavour. In the wild, they are most commonly found growing on the stumps of various trees and, in that case, are often a fairly dark brown in color. In consequence, are known in Mandarin as jīnzhēngū 金針菇 (or “gold needle mushroom”). When cultivated, however, they exhibit the stark, ivory white you see pictured above… [READ MORE]

Here you can see the delicate heads and stems a little more closely. They do not have much of an aroma and in taste they are fairly close to white button mushrooms. Flavour wise, they are almost inconsequential when raw and with a mild, inoffensive fungal quality when cooked. The stems can be a little fibrous but not seriously so and they become quite silky when cooked.

 

The tiny Enokitake do as well as any mild flavoured mushrooms when cooked in a dish but they make a lovely visual addition. In particular, a spray of the fungus makes a very pretty addition at the edge of a dish like Sukiyaki, of a seafood stew. Here, you can see one idea for using a little bunch as a plate garnish.

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