6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!

Did you know there are so many kinds of mushrooms in Japan? For us, Japanese people, Japanese mushrooms are important for our daily meals. Here, I would like to introduce some famous Japanese mushrooms and recipes!



 

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!

 

1. Enoki

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!_enoki

This is a long and thin mushroom widely used all over Japan. Since Enoki doesn’t have strong mushroom smells and/or tastes, those who don’t like mushrooms are more likely to eat. According to some researches in Japan, Enoki can increase our immune strength and also prevent cancers –so I would recommend you to eat a lot of Enoki every single day! One of the most popular recipes using Enoki is called “Nametake”, which is cooked Enoki with soy sauce. It is not such a thing like a main-dish, but is well matched with white steamed rice! Moreover, especially during winter time, it is common to put Enoki into Nabe (鍋) – which is Japanese hot pot. Start eating Enoki and stay healthy!

 

2. Shimeji

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!_shimeji

Shimeji has brown colored pileus on its top and tastes stronger compared to Enoki. Shimeji contains a lot of fiber –that makes you stay healthy and slim. Moreover, this mushroom can be matched with any kinds of foods including pasta, soup and gratin. My favorite is roasting it in a foil wrapper which is called ホイル焼き (foil yaki) in Japanese. Not only Shimeji but also put a lot of vegetables such as carrots, green peppers and onions, and also some (fish) meat or sausage in a foil wrapper. Then, grill it for about 15 minutes and it is ready to eat! I also like to put some shuddered cheese so that I can enjoy the combination of melting cheese and Shimeji. Try ホイル焼き this winter with Simeji and whatever you would like to put!

 

3. Shiitake

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!_shiitake

This is one of the most important Japanese mushrooms in Japan –we put it on a lot of traditional Japanese food such as 茶わん蒸し (a cup steamed egg custard with chicken and vegetables), 鍋 (Japanese hotpot), and 煮物 (simmering). However, quite a few Japanese kids don’t like Shiitake –maybe because of its unique taste. But actually it is well matched with Japanese dishes. If you’ve never tried Shiitake, I would recommend you to try しいたけの肉詰め –putting grounded meat in Shiitake and grilling it. Before putting meat, put some flour/starch on Shiitake so that the meat will not be separated from Shiitake while grilling it. My little brother, who didn’t like Shiitake, loved this recipe since he could eat the mushroom with something he liked. Once you get used to the taste, I’m sure you would like to have more Shiitake dishes!

 

4. Maitake

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!_maitake

Maitake tend to be used in various kinds of dishes like Shimeji, but I would recommend you to put Maitake in Japanese dishes rather than Western style meals. It is well-matched with cheesy food and/or ketchup taste, but even better with soy sauce. My favorite Maitake recipe is煮物 (simmering) with fried tofu. The way of cooking is pretty simple –just cut Maitake and fried tofu and put them in a pot with fish broth, sugar, sake and soy sauce and boil it. The combination of soy sauce, tofu and Maitake is amazing! Try simmering if you have a chance to get some Maitake.

 

5. Matsutake

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!_matsutake

Although it is famous for its wonderful smell, not so many people have tried Matsutake since it’s very expensive compared to other Japanese mushrooms. This is also very rich in nutrition such as potassium, iron and fiber –moreover, its smell has some nice effects to our body. So not only by eating but also by smelling Maitake, we’ll have more chances to get healthier! Two famous Matsutake dishes are Matsutake soup and Matsutake rice. This soup is called お吸い物 (Osuimono) in which we usually put broth and season it with soy sauce, not miso. Its subtle taste is suitable for Matsutake since one of the biggest things we enjoy when eating Matsutake is to smell it. Although it is very expensive, there are a lot of Matsutake in cheaper price in North America since no one there would like to eat the mushroom. Even though there are differences between Eastern and Western Matsutake, it would be interesting to compare which one would be better.

 

6. Nameko

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!_nameko

I think Nameko has very strange feature –it is a bit sticky. Unlike other Japanese mushrooms, Nameko looks very cute –it looks like a mushroom in children’s books and/or anime. It is popular to put Nameko in miso soup –which is called なめこ汁 (Nameko soup). Since it is a bit sticky, you can enjoy funny feel in your mouth. But this stickiness is not only strange. A kind of protein called mucin has the stickiness and mucin can protect your stomach and lower your blood pressure. In Japan, it has been said that sticky foods, including Nameko, are good for your health although some people don’t like the stickiness. In order to survive this winter, let’s have some Nameko!

 

Conclusion

There are so many kinds of mushrooms in Japan. And each mushroom has unique tastes and smells –this is the reason why we have various mushroom dishes in our daily life. Try some Japanese mushrooms in whatever way you want. Eating them makes you stay healthy!

 

6 Japanese Mushroom Dishes You Should Try in Japan!

1. Enoki
2. Shimeji
3. Shiitake
4. Maitake
5. Matsutake
6. Nameko