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cteavin

Japanese mushrooms, French cooking

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Hi,

I've recently taken to French mother sauces and the little sauces they inspire and I'm totally flummoxed by which mushrooms to use with, say, sauce allemande. I've asked at the market and gotten blank looks, so I'm asking here.

From experience can someone suggest Japanese mushrooms that pair well with chicken, beef, or veal based dishes?

Thank you much.

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You'll probably want to avoid nameko and enoki just because they are too small (and slimy, in the former's case), but I feel like shiitake, eringi and maitake would all work. Depending on your grocery store, you should be able to find button mushrooms, and possibly even cremini as well, which would be more traditional to the French sauces, but if you want to experiment with Japanese mushrooms, I think that shiitake are probably your best bet. They seem to have more flavor than maitake and eringi to me. Matsutake would probably just be wasted on a sauce with a lot of other ingredients going on.

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I vote for oyster especially king oyster. You can peel it down like chanterelles and it has a similar texture.

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I agree with the oyster mushroom (hiratake) comment, though it can be hard to find them,especially if you want nice ones.

Generally, shimeji work well with rich sauces like sauce allemande, though they don't "give" as much to the sauce.

Shiitake don't seem as good with western sauces as they can be slimy.

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Maitake are hen-of-the-woods or sheepshead mushrooms in North America, and in French Coquille En Bouquet, Pied De Griffon, Polypore En Bouquet, Polypore En Touffe, Polypore Feuillé, and Poule De Bois, so why not? I think they go nicely with lamb, beef, and veal. The flavor is kind of earthy, and they aren't slimy, but the texture is different from more common mushrooms with a stem and a cap. A simple way to prepare them is just to brush with olive oil and a little salt and roast them briefly (if you overdo it, they will shrink very rapidly, but can become a nice crunchy topping--don't ask me how I know).


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)

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