Thanks to a sale at the local grocery store, I found myself walking home with a 3-pack of Japanese mushrooms for $3! I was so bowled-over by the price, I forgot the fact that I was also packing for a one week trip to Sonoma. Since these mushrooms were clearly on sale for a reason, I put the odds of them being usable when I got back at next to none.
They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Well, I had 3 bundles of gorgeous mushrooms on my hands with almost no opportunity to eat them. Given that I often pickle vegetables when I know I’m not going to eat them right away, my mind immediately turned to preservation.
But pickled mushrooms?! No way! That’s when it occurred to me that these might be good sautéed, then marinated. Since they’re Japanese mushrooms, I decided to go with a Japanese style marinade. The soy sauce boosts the natural umami in the mushrooms while the vinegar makes for a tangy preservative.
The mitsuba and shiso lend an awesome cedar/mint flavor, but if you’re not able to find these herbs, basil and cilantro would taste great too. Better yet, if you do decide to go that route, try substituting the soy sauce for fish sauce and the vinegar for lime juice.
Marinated Japanese Mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 packs Japanese mushrooms (such as shimeji, enoki, maitake, shiitake, or nameko)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dashi soy sauce (regular soy sauce will work)
1 red chili pepper
2 tablespoons chopped mitsuba
1 tablespoon chopped green shiso
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, then add the mushrooms. Stir-fry until the mushrooms are cooked and there is little to no liquid in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat, and then add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili pepper, mitsuba and shiso. Stir to combine, then add salt to taste. When the mushrooms have cooled, put them in a tupperware and refrigerate until you are ready to serve them.
These marinated mushrooms make a great appetizer or side and can be served on noodles, on top of pasta, or just by themselves.