Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Matsutake Three Ways

Matsutake mushroom and Bok Choy Sauté

_DSC1827My husband got an email from his co-worker one Saturday saying that they saw matsutake mushroom at such and such market (my husband does not recall the name of the market but that is not an important part of this story) for 16 dollars per pound. ‘Do you want it? asked the co-worker. At the Japanese super market, matsutake mushrooms sell for nearly 50 dollars per pound at the beginning of Fall and price will come down to half at the end of the season but so and so market price was lower than that. My husband asked for a conservative 1 pound proxy purchase.

When my husband and I were still young with just my daughter, we took a broken television to a tiny repair shop. The repairman happened to be Japanese and he shared a few matsutake mushrooms he had hunted in Mt.Hood. It was a tender moment, I hadn’t had that delicacy in years and I never dreamed of having them in the US but there they were right in front of me.

The following Monday morning, my husband and co-worker made the exchange.

Do you have the goods?
Yeah, do you have the money?
Good. This never happened, capish?

_DSC1752Joking aside, it definitely was a great buy. The aroma and texture were excellent. We should have bought more. What is the name of the mystery market honey?

Ingredients and Instruction for two servings

  • Matsutake mushroom 2-3 Use the bristle brush to remove dirt under running water then pat dry, cut off hard stem ends.
  • Bok Choy 2-3, separate each leaf and clean_DSC1856
  • Ginger roots about size of adult thumb. Peel skin and julienne.
  • Vegetable oil or peanut oil  2 teaspoons, divided
  • Chinese chicken broth 4 Tablespoons Note: I used soup granule (approximately 1 teaspoonful) dissolved in 4 Tablespoons warm water._DSC1815
  • Salt to taste
  • Soy sauce  or ponzu sauce (optional)
  • Red pepper for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in wok or non-stick skillet at medium heat. Sauté matsutake mushrooms until aromatic, about 1 minute. Place the mushrooms on a plate. Set aside._DSC1817
  2. Heat remaining oil in the same pan and add bok choy and ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes at medium heat._DSC1820
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and continue sautéing until vegetable is tender.
  4. Put matsutake mushrooms back in the wok and stir to combine._DSC1823
  5. Salt to taste. Add a few drops of soy sauce or ponzu sauce if you desire. Garnish with red pepper (optional) and serve.

My daughter sent my husband a Stove Top Smoker for his birthday in September. _DSC1836I placed matsutake mushrooms, maitake mushroom and eringi mushroom in it._DSC1832And closed the lid._DSC1837Voila!_DSC1847OK… it worked, stinking up the whole house in the process though. Hummm, I think we killed the nice fragrance of matsutake and replaced it with less desirable smoky flavor, beside it works better on meat?…but that was a fun experiment wasn’t it?… I try not to put blame on my husband.

Matsutake rice is our favorite. And it goes well with sautéed matsutake mushroom and bok choy. _DSC1641 I stumbled upon a male Japanese blogger who hikes to the mountain to hunt for mushrooms around this time. I recently tried his award winning okonomiyaki recipe  (I forgot to take photo) and it was terrific! His blog, written in both Japanese and English, is worth checking out.

We saw this No-Knead Artisan loaf recipe by Jeff Herzberg and Zoe Francois in Oregonian FOODDAY. It had really good texture. Super easy said my husband. _DSC1754

Also discovered in FOODDAY was World’s Best Lasagna recipe. I crumble under the words like ‘Best”  If it says “World’s” in front of  “Best” then I must try it. This one however is a touch over rated. _DSC1810

I made Banana and Walnuts Rolled Cake for dessert. This perhaps is a post worthy recipe for next Tuesday? But I can’t really think so far ahead. _DSC1838

Goodwill hunting with my friend the other day and I decided that I can’t live with out this vase. Just $1.99, so money can buy love some times? Roses in our garden are on their last leg. _DSC1795

Rain is back and gloomy in Portland. I went and bought a ‘cheer me up’ item from the grocery store…glowing light of sunshine._DSC1805

Have a happy rest of the week!






  1. so happy you got some, your hubby knows you well

  2. I am drooling here. I love Matsutake mushroom.

    1. I know, they are so awesome right? Thank you for your comment.

  3. lovely and comfort veggies!
    this mushrooms called a chicken thight mushroom in Indonesia quite pricey for it's texture flavour, and size.....
    lucky you my friend!

    1. Thank you for your comment. Indonesia name for matsutake is funny - not at all I expected.

  4. Thank you for your kind words about my blog!

    I envy you for getting such beautiful matsutake so cheap!
    If I had some, I would definitely close them in a sheet of aluminum foil before putting them in a toaster oven to keep the aroma in (laugh).

  5. A refined dish and fabulous combination! I'd love to taste your sauté.

    Mouthwatering lasagne and cake too!



    1. Thank you very much. I think you love this simple dish.

  6. I wish I had brought matsutake from Tokyo... It was very expensive though. I will definitely bring some next time because I have never tasted it and your posts confirms once more that it's a unique, extraordinary mushroom. Both dishes look amazing. So sophisticated and elegant!

    1. Thank you Sissi. I'm always get hungry when I visit your site.

  7. You are amazing . . . and delightful. I've probably never eaten matsutake mushrooms. I think I would enjoy them. Your dish looks wonderful. I quickly checked out Hiroyuki's blog . . . looks very interesting. Thanks for the link. Your photos . . . their thoughtful presentation . . . a feast for the eyes. And once again, thank you so much for the beautiful strainer. I am humbled at your generosity.

  8. One of my absolute favourite asian mushrooms. Wonderful ideas- love that they all are so clean and elegant and really let the flavour of the mushrooms shine and take centrestage. Good one as always!

    1. Thank you! You inspired me to study drawing/ illustration. I already bought sketch pad...I have to find the time to do though.

  9. Hmmm, I'm trying to think back as to whether I ever had any matsutake mushrooms. I visited Izu peninsula one time and stayed in a really nice hotel - we had abalone cooked with some sort of mushroom which looked similar to this - I wonder if it was the same thing? It was very good and meaty - I remember that.

    How lucky you were able to get some for such an outstanding price. I'm curious, is it possible to cultivate these mushrooms yourself? You can buy logs seeded with shiitake spores to grow your own... presumably it must be possible to do the same with these? Once I've settled down a bit I want to spend some time to create my own mushroom beds!

    1. Hi Charles, I'm so happy you reached your destination safely. Good luck with your new adventure. Take care, I know quite cold out there. Oh, thank you for your comment.
      I really don't know about cultivating mushroom but that's interesting idea.

  10. I adore Matsutake and all your preparation is making my mouth watered! Hm...which one should I try first? Maybe I better make all 3 of them. :)

  11. シンプルで美味しそう!スモーカーいいですね!主人にいいかも!松茸今年はまだ食べてないのー。