Japanese super food: Mushrooms
For thousands of years, mushrooms have been believed to have medicinal properties. In recent studies, the researchers have discovered that mushrooms contain a powerful polysaccharide called flammulin, which helps in anti-cancer and anti-tumor activity. Mushrooms also stimulate the immune system and are anti-viral and anti-bacterial. They help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Mushrooms are not only powerful natural healing agents but also flavorful in taste and aroma. Below are mushrooms commonly used in Japanese cuisine.
Nameko is a small, amber-brown mushroom with a slightly gelatinous coating that is enjoyed in miso soup and nabe.
↓ Hot soba noodle topped with grated daikon radish and nameko.
↓ Nameko jiru: Miso soup with nameko, green onions and silken tofu.
Honshimeji or Shimeji, when cooked, has a pleasant, firm, slightly crunchy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. It is rich in umami tasting components and used in stir-fry, soups, nabe, and takikomi-gohan.
↓ Takikomi-gohan with Shimeji.
Shiitake is used as vegetarian soup stock, and also as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes.
Enoki has mild flavor and a pleasantly crunchy texture. It is lightly cooked, and served in soups or in stir-fries with vegetables and meat.
↓ Enoki and other mushrooms in nabe.
Maitake, meaning “dancing mushroom” in Japanese, is named in such way for its appealing flavor. It tastes so good it will make you dance for joy. Maitake is rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium well as vitamins B2, vitamins D2 and niacin. It is used in stir-fry, soups, nabe, and takikomi-gohan.
↓ Stir-fried maitake.
Matsutake is hard to find and therefore the price is very high. Japanese people love its distinct spicy aroma and use it for soups and matsutake gohan.
↓ Matsutake served in Kaiseki Ryouri style.
Eringi is also known in English as King Oyster Mushroom. Eringi has little flavor or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom umami flavors with a texture similar to abalone.
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