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margaret

mushrooms

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When sold at retail, I've mostly seen Japanese matsutake in department store basement shops, rather than ordinary supermarkets. Of course, the same department stores offer Korean matsutake at about 1/2-2/3 the price, and Chinese ones at about 1/10 the price. North American white matsutake were sold at roughly the Korean matsutake price or cheaper.

These were matsutake from Washington/Oregon. Do Japanese matsutake ever show up in the US?

Japan grown matsutake rarely show up in Japan! :hmmm:

Most of the ones sold in the supermarkets are from Korea, Canada and China. I have a feeling the Japanese ones end up mostly in high end restaurants.

A couple years ago we were driving the the mountainous area of Shizuoka and in the middle of absolutely nowhere there was this little stand selling matsutake. I was so excited I made my husband pull the car over and I rushed out only to notice the fine print on the bottom of the sign: Grown in China. :shock:

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I DID IT AT LONG LAST!! I GOT HON SHIMEJI TODAY!!

Today, I participated in this event, hosted by Yukiguni Maitake (mushroom manufacturer). At one of the stalls at the site of the event, I spotted hon shimeji!!

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1000 yen a pack. The people at the small said it usually cost twice as much.

Inside:

gallery_16375_4595_8973.jpg

Can't wait to try it!

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We had it for supper.

Put all the six of them on a sheet of aluminum foil, add some sake, place another sheet of foil on top, and cook in the toaster oven for 10 min.

gallery_16375_4595_1332.jpg

We had it with no seasoning first, and then with sudachi juice and soy sauce. We were not so much fascinated by the flavor, but were satisfied with having been able to have what was called a phantom mushroom.

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Thanks for trying them and then reporting about it! I am sorry to hear they were lacking in flavor, they sure are beautiful though. :biggrin:

The most important question though, would you buy them again?

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Thanks for trying them and then reporting about it! I am sorry to hear they were lacking in flavor, they sure are beautiful though. :biggrin:

The most important question though, would you buy them again?

No. Once is enough for such an expensive foodstuff! My son is of the same opinion.

You can buy it anytime online. Why not try it yourself? :biggrin:

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Not the best picture but they sure did taste good!

Eryngii (King Oyster/King Trumpet mushroom) brushed with sesame oil and grilled, they were then drizzled with soy sauce and sprinkled with some freshly ground shichimi.

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Another eryngii photo from me.

gallery_16375_4595_17208.jpg

I was no fan of eryngii until I encountered these jumbo ones. More flavorful than most regular ones. I like to cut them into thin slices, cook them in the toaster oven, and eat them with salt.

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An acquaintance of mine runs an enoki mushroom factory. Her father started the business when she was a first grader in an elementary school, she says, that is, in 1976.

As some of you may already know, my son (12) is crazy about mushrooms, and I had long wanted to take him to this factory and learn about enoki mushroom production together. Today, my dream came true.

Enoki production requires a substrate of saw dust and other ingredients. At her factory, they use saw dust, rice bran, corn cobs, and supplements the details of which were not disclosed.

This is the mixer used to mix together all the ingredients:

gallery_16375_6056_53601.jpg

The mixture is then put in each of these plastic bottles.

gallery_16375_6056_9427.jpg

There are 70,000 of them, she said, but added that only 50,000 of them are currently in use.

The bottles are then sterilized in this kiln for 9 hours and 15 minutes.

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This is the room where seed inoculation takes place.

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The room is kept at a temperature of 13C.

The bottles are then transferred to the incubation room, kept at 15C.

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The contents are mostly brown, but will become entirely white in one month.

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The bottles are kept there for one month.

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This is the machine used to remove the upper part from each bottle:

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She says that she has to manually operate the machine. Newer ones can do this job automatically.

Upper part removed:

gallery_16375_6056_73171.jpg

The removal is required to make sprouting possible.

Closeup of one bottle.

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The bottle is heavier than you would imagine.

The bottles are then moved to another room, the sprouting room.

gallery_16375_6056_40514.jpg

where the humidity is increased by using humidifiers and sprinkling water.

The room is kept at 14C.

In ten days, they will look like this:

gallery_16375_6056_29664.jpg

When sprouting is complete, the bottles are transferred to the constricting room, which is kept at 4C.

In this room, light and wind are applied to the mushroom in each bottle so that the caps and stems are formed steadily.

The bottles are then moved to the growth room, kept at 6C, where a sheet of paper is wrapped around the bunch of mushroom in each bottle so that the bunch does not bend.

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5 to 7 days after the paper is wrapped, the mushroom can be gathered.

She let my son gather three of them.

The bottle is now much lighter.

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Report that her son wrote when he was a second grader in an elementary school:

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Without his report, I could not have finished this report!

Three bunches of enoki my son gathered:

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In summary, four rooms are required to produce enoki mushrooms:

Incubation room, kept at 15C, where the bottles are kept for one month

Sprouting room , kept at 14C, where the bottles are kept for ten days

Constricting room, kept at 4C

Growth room, kept at 6C

It takes a total of two months to produce enoki mushrooms.

She said that one-room cultivation is now possible. When the factory was built in 1990, however, four-room cultivation was common. One-room cultivation became popular afterwards.

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A fascinating report. I found it very interesting and was surprised by the lenght of time it takes for the enoki to grow. I had no idea the wrapping them in paper was how the clusters were formed.

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Can you guess what this is?

gallery_16375_6056_31862.jpg

Yesterday, I got this bag of enoki caps that have grown too big to be sellable from the owner of that enoki factory.

Closeup:

gallery_16375_6056_95848.jpg

I had told her that I preferred enoki with large caps. I put some of them in miso soup this morning, and I liked them!

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In the US, overgrown crimini mushrooms used to be thrown away. Now they are sold as a premium, almost twice the price of normal mushrooms, because of good marketing and an ambiguously Italian name (portabella, or some variation of that spelling). It was so successful that crimini mushrooms which are just a little larger than average are sometimes called "baby portabellas."

I would think that the same thing could be done in Japan...

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In the US, overgrown crimini mushrooms used to be thrown away. Now they are sold as a premium, almost twice the price of normal mushrooms, because of good marketing and an ambiguously Italian name (portabella, or some variation of that spelling). It was so successful that crimini mushrooms which are just a little larger than average are sometimes called "baby portabellas."

I would think that the same thing could be done in Japan...

Thanks, Jason! I will tell her about this. :biggrin: I wonder how she will respond.

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An acquaintance of mine runs an enoki mushroom factory.  Her father started the business when she was a first grader in an elementary school, she says, that is, in 1976.

As some of you may already know, my son (12) is crazy about mushrooms, and I had long wanted to take him to this factory and learn about enoki mushroom production together.  Today, my dream came true.

thank you so much for posting this!

all the great photos too...

are those bottles glass or some type of plastic?

is water ever applied, or is it a part of the original substrate?

sorry about the late nature of this post.

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The bottles are made of plastic.

No water is applied, but I think humidifiers keep the mushrooms moist.

It's never too late to post questions or comments. :biggrin:

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In the US, overgrown crimini mushrooms used to be thrown away. Now they are sold as a premium, almost twice the price of normal mushrooms, because of good marketing and an ambiguously Italian name (portabella, or some variation of that spelling). It was so successful that crimini mushrooms which are just a little larger than average are sometimes called "baby portabellas."

I would think that the same thing could be done in Japan...

Thanks, Jason! I will tell her about this. :biggrin: I wonder how she will respond.

I notified her of your story, I haven't received a reply yet, but considering how inexpensive these overgrown enoki caps, I don't think she will make positive comments.

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At the local supermarket today, I found bags of overgrown enoki caps (400 g) sold for 148 yen each. Maybe the same thing cannot happen for enoki mushrooms in Japan. :sad: I myself prefer enoki with large caps, so the situation in Japan is good for me.

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I noticed today that the description of enoki on the website of eGullet's current sponsor contains the following paragraph:

Uses. Try them raw in salads and sandwiches. Or use them as an ingredient in soups, such as a stock made with soy sauce and tofu.

Enoki mushrooms contain a hemolytic substance (a type of protein) and, therefore, should not be eaten raw. When heated, the protein is decomposed and is safe to eat.

I emailed the sponsor about this today, and I hope that the error will be corrected soon.

***

Two days ago, I got five clusters of enoki mushrooms, and yesterday, I used three of them to make:

Enoki and daikon miso soup

Japanese salad of enoki, wakame, corn, fake crab meat, and sesame seeds

Enoki gratin

I hope I can make enoki tempura soon.

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I made enoki tempura for supper last night, along with other types of tempura. Unfortunately, the enoki tempura turned out rather oily, and I forgot the idea of posting in the Tempura Cook-Off thread in the Cooking Forum.

Instead, I posted some photos in my blog with some comments.

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Today, my son and I went mushroom gathering. Partly because of my son's elaborate plan and partly because of the weather (we had rain the day before yesterday), we were able to gather a lot of mushrooms.

Hanaiguchi (Suillus grevillei)

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Hanaiguchi (same species as the above)

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A tree stub with an incredible number of naratake (honey mushroom), commonly known as amandare in the Uonuma region of Niigata prefecture

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We cleaned edible mushrooms and put them in dense salt water to get rid of worms.

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Hiroyuki-san, I have been marvelling at the wealth of foods your son scavenges for some time! I'm curious, are there many poisonous mushrooms in your area that you must beware of? I would be very cautious of eating any wild mushrooms where I live, but perhaps I just don't know the varieties well enough.

(Edited for clarification.)


Edited by Hayley Casarotto (log)

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Hiroyuki-san, I have been marvelling at the wealth of foods your son scavenges for some time!  I'm curious, are there many poisonous mushrooms in your area that you must beware of?  I would be very cautious of eating any wild mushrooms where I live, but perhaps I just don't know the varieties well enough.

(Edited for clarification.)

Sorry for a late reply. There are just too many of them to mention, and we make it a point to have only those mushrooms that we (well, my son, actually) can identify.

Just let me give you one example. We often see poisonous mushrooms of the tengu take family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_pantherina

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Hiroyuki-san, I have been marvelling at the wealth of foods your son scavenges for some time!  I'm curious, are there many poisonous mushrooms in your area that you must beware of?  I would be very cautious of eating any wild mushrooms where I live, but perhaps I just don't know the varieties well enough.

(Edited for clarification.)

Sorry for a late reply. There are just too many of them to mention, and we make it a point to have only those mushrooms that we (well, my son, actually) can identify.

Just let me give you one example. We often see poisonous mushrooms of the tengu take family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_pantherina

Yikes! I'm glad that your son knows what he's doing :smile:

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I noticed today that the description of enoki on the website of eGullet's current sponsor contains the following paragraph:
Uses. Try them raw in salads and sandwiches. Or use them as an ingredient in soups, such as a stock made with soy sauce and tofu.

Enoki mushrooms contain a hemolytic substance (a type of protein) and, therefore, should not be eaten raw. When heated, the protein is decomposed and is safe to eat.

I emailed the sponsor about this today, and I hope that the error will be corrected soon.

i dont know who the sponsor was but i hope they got your mesg!

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I noticed today that the description of enoki on the website of eGullet's current sponsor contains the following paragraph:
Uses. Try them raw in salads and sandwiches. Or use them as an ingredient in soups, such as a stock made with soy sauce and tofu.

Enoki mushrooms contain a hemolytic substance (a type of protein) and, therefore, should not be eaten raw. When heated, the protein is decomposed and is safe to eat.

I emailed the sponsor about this today, and I hope that the error will be corrected soon.

i dont know who the sponsor was but i hope they got your mesg!

Thanks for your concern. I sent an inquiry to a laboratory in Niigata, and they gave me a reply. Then I sent the information to that sponsor. Again, I hope that the error will be corrected soon.

Some of the facts that I learned from the laboratory:

1. The name of the toxin in enoki mushrooms is flammutoxin.

2. White button mushrooms should not be eaten raw, either, because they contain agaritine.

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Some of the facts that I learned from the laboratory:

1.  The name of the toxin in enoki mushrooms is flammutoxin.

2.  White button mushrooms should not be eaten raw, either, because they contain agaritine.

wow. i eat buttons raw all the time! and theyre offered all the time at salad bars too.

ill stop that right away.

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The other day, I bought a pack of oyster mushrooms:

gallery_16375_5796_77030.jpg

Oyster mushrooms (hiratake in Japanese) are nothing new, but I wanted to post a photo because they were so beautiful.

I also bought a pack of kakinoki take (lit. persimmon tree mushrooms).

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Short stems and firm texture.

I was a little disappointed to learn later from the label that the kakinoki take was nothing more than the original species of enoki take.

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