27 Aug2006

enoki1

There are days when I grouse about the bad quality and poor variety of locally available produce, and there are days that I am just thrilled to see how far we have come in the past 10 years. During the past few weeks, I have noticed an incredible explosion in the variety and quality of mushrooms on offer in the markets. It used to be difficult just to find a dry and good-looking white mushroom; now there are shiitakes, wood ears, portabellos, oysters, straw and other mushroom varieties I don’t even know the names of! I suspect many are grown in highly controlled and enclosed environments as we don’t really have the climate, forests or spores that are necessary to find them naturally in the woods… The controlled growth conditions take away from flavor, but let’s just be happy for now that the variety is improving…

Last week I found some nice Enoki or Enokitake (Flammunlina velutipes) mushrooms at the market. enoki2These mushrooms are tiny by comparison to most edible mushrooms and possess really long “necks” and a tiny “cap.” A creamy color, they are spongy and delicious when just blanched in a variety of Japanese soups. I like to add them to homemade ramen noodles along with other vegetables. They grow naturally on the dead trunks of Enoki trees (Chinese Hackberry), and hence their name in Japan. Wash well and remove the lower end of the clumps before using. I think they look clever and possess a great texture when bitten into…but they tend to have little taste, actually. You sometimes see them in a well-made sukiyaki…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. renee says:

    ooohh which market is this MM? I had enoki and asparagus wrapped in bacon at sugi, and it was good! I tried to replicate but couldn’t find fresh ones

    Aug 28, 2006 | 12:08 am

     
  2. Marketman says:

    renee, Joey at Salcedo carries a wide selection of mushrooms, I bought mine from a suki at the FTI Market in Taguig. I bet they have these at Farmer’s Market or Lung Center Market in QC as well. Sometimes, the groceries carry them as well.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 5:55 am

     
  3. millet says:

    you’re right, what enoki lack in flavor, they more than make up for with visual appeal. have not seen fresh ones here in davao, but oyster and straw mushroomss are very common and inexpensive here.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 7:01 am

     
  4. CWID says:

    What I do with Enoki is to just plunk this in any soup. It provides a nice texture especially to cream soups.A nice addition to canned soups during those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 7:21 am

     
  5. lee says:

    i always see this in iron chef america. weird fungal stuff.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 8:37 am

     
  6. Wilson Cariaga says:

    I love this eaten raw wraped in prosciutto then drizzled with lemon dressing or just added in salads. . . lemon brings out the flavor of this mushroom. . . yummy

    Aug 28, 2006 | 9:21 am

     
  7. Gigi says:

    In my fave Jap resto, binabalot itong Enoki in bacon then grilled. Champion sa sarap.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 11:30 am

     
  8. Jean says:

    I’ve seen them in the market but never tried them. Thanks guys. I’ll try your suggestions.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 1:01 pm

     
  9. Bubut says:

    I’ve tried that Enoki mushroom wrapped in bacon at Teriyaki Boy, but the bacon is doesnt taste good that’s why i didn’t enjoy it.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 3:45 pm

     
  10. Doddie from Korea says:

    Enoki is dime a dozen here in Korea. Heck, you can even get them at the local sari-sari store (a bit more upscale version here in Korea). Koreans put them in stews like Bulgogi(Beef stew with soy sauce), Dwenjang Jjige (Fermented soybean stew), Kimchi Jjige (KImchi stew), Soon Doo Boo Jjige (Soft Bean Curd stew), etc. I love them in soup and stews and sometimes put them in korean veggie pancakes called “pajeon”. Oops I seem to forgot to send something to MM. Will send an email shortly.

    Aug 28, 2006 | 5:50 pm

     
  11. Ernie of Dipolog says:

    We have a mushroom producing farm here in Dipolog City. Our mushrooms are organically produced (no chemicals used). At present, we grow oyster (pletorous) mushrooms but reading comments in this post, I believe that it’s worth trying to grow other varieties as enokis.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 9:41 pm

     
 

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