Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Enokitake

Enoki mushroom. Flammulina velupitesえのきたけ、榎茸

Also called "golden needle" or "velvet foot." Long (10-13 cm), thin white mushroom growing in clumps. The pin-like head sits on a needle-like stem. Naturally grows on the stump of the Chinese Hackberry tree, called enoki in Japanese.

Now widely cultivated (and that is where the white color comes from, wild mushrooms are brown) - in fact, it has been cultivated in Japan for over 300 years. For cultivation nowadays plastic bottles or vinyl bags are used with a substrate of saw dust. Grows in 30 days.

Has a crunchy texture and somewhat fruity but very mild taste. Gets hard when cooked too long. Can be used in salads, soups, stir-fries and hotpot dishes. Also wrapped in foil with fish or fowl for grilling over charcoal.

[Photo Wikipedia]