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Posts Tagged ‘shiitake’

After a few hours of shopping at Kappabashi (restaurant supply and knife galore district) and a few more hours spent at ishimori (the #1 saxophone shop in japan) we met up with some friends for yakitori. Yakitori is marinated,grilled, everything you can dream of, on a stick. These pictures tell the rest…

kampai

fried octopus

scallions, peppers and yellow beans

squid legs

beef fat and onions

chicken meat balls and beef hearts

tofu

shiitake

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After a not so long, yet tiring day of walking around Kamakura and visiting the shrines and statues we came back home to the best meal I had in Tokyo so far. Sukiyaki is made by placing cast iron pot in the center of the table. Into the pot goes some fat…

as it renders you add some onions…

sake, sugar, soy sauce and some water.

The broth is now ready and we can start adding in the goods; tofu, shiitake, enokitake, greens, potato noodles, scallions and beef. Cook it all together and as you pick your food out of the pot you dip it in raw egg then eat it. It is so good!

I want to eat skuyaki everyday!!!!

As food come out of the pot and into our stomach fresh food goes into the broth, more and more and more until you think you are done, then, a little more and we are done.

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Another recipe from the new french cook book I got last week, mushrooms baked in paper. yum.

  • preheat the oven to 375°F ( 190°C)
  • cut  a baking paper to a rectangular 18-by-11-inch ( 45-by-28-cm).  fold the paper in half crosswise, open the paper and coat with butter, place in a baking sheet.
  • cut 1 lb of mixed mushrooms into bite size and place in a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1 tablespoon of butter cut into pieces, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and toss well. spread the mushrooms on half the paper and fold the second half over the mushrooms, fold the edges over twice, working your way to the edges, ending with a twist on both ends.
  • place the package on the baking sheet and bake until the package is puffed and the mushrooms are cooked through 15-20 minutes, carefully open the package and serve at once.

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As the weather in NY drops below the freezing point, soups seems to be the only natural thing to eat.
I was told by my acupuncturist yesterday that I need to push out something that is still external , but may become internal if left untreated, and so I should eat a lot of Miso. According to Chinese tradition exterior diseases first affect the body surfaces that are exposed directly to the environment – the skin, the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and lungs. The most prevalent exterior conditions are the common cold and flu, the sooner ones notices these conditions and take action, the more likely their interior progress can be reversed. Food that promotes sweating is recommended for treating such conditions – miso soup, ginger and peppermint tea are my favorite remedies.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste thought to have originated in China some 2,500 years ago. It is made by combining cooked soybeans, mold, salt and various grains and then fermenting them together for six months to two years. There are three basic types of miso: soybean, barley and rice, and 40-50 other varieties. Each type has its own distinctive color and flavor.
Healing properties of miso: 13%-20% protein; it is a live food containing lactobacillus (the same in yogurt) that aids in digestion; it creates an alkaline condition in the body promoting resistance against disease. According to tradition, miso promotes long life and good health.
In my miso soup I like using a lot of ginger and scallions, along with kombu, wakame, tofu and shiitake.
Kombu (kelp) –  moistens dryness; increases yin fluids; softens hardened areas and masses in the body; helps transform heat induced phlegm; benefits kidneys; diuretic; anti-coagulant effect on the blood; is a natural fungicide; relieves coughing and asthma; soothes the lungs and throat; eradicates fungal and candida yeast overgrowths.
Wakame
– diuretic; transforms and resolves phlegm; high in calcium; rich in niacin and thiamine; promotes healthy hair and skin; soften hardened tissue and masses; tonifies the yin fluids; used in Japanese tradition to purify the mother’s blood after childbirth.
Tofu – benefits the lungs and large intestine; relieves inflammation in the stomach; neutralizes toxins.
Shiitake

What a healthy, cold fighting soup this is going to be!
*most of this information is based on the book “healing with whole foods” by Paul Pritchard
Miso soup recipe
Ingredients:

  • 10-12 cups of chicken stock or water – I prefer using chicken stock, got to give grandma’s remedies some credit too.
  • about 2-3 tablespoons of dark miso
  • 1/4 cup dry Wakame, soaked in 2 cups of water
  • 1 big piece of Kombu, cut into small chunks (use scissors)
  • 1/2 pack of tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of bonito (or any other) dry fish flakes, optional
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ginger, at least 3-5 inch long, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms, leg removed, cut in 4

Directions:

  1. in a soup pot, sautee garlic onion and ginger for about 4-5 minutes
  2. add wakame and the liquid it was soaked in and stir
  3. add mushrooms, 3/4 of scallions, kombu, tofu, bonito fish flakes and chicken stock
  4. bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, cook for about 30 minutes
  5. add miso, stir and cook for 10 more minutes
  6. serve hot with fresh scallions on top
  7. optional addition: hard-boiled or fried egg is a delicious addition to this soup.

*Miso, Kombu, Wakame and Bonito flakes can be found in Chinese or Japanese supermarkets.

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I had to slice a lot of mushrooms at work today, Portobello, Oyster, and My favorite, Shiitake.
Shiitake mushrooms with their rich, smoky flavor are  used in many recipes and different cuisine, they are relatively new to our western taste buds (Americans been eating them since 1972) but have become very popular over the years.
I was first introduce to Shiitake about 11 years ago, when my step grandfather was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and decided to fight it with a meticulous diet that involved a lot of Shiitake (along with many other things).
Why Shiitake? There are a few answers to this question, I’ll try to keep it short:
Early investigators were skeptical of mushrooms because they appeared to have properties similar to those of cancer – parasitical, fungus-like, and fast growing. It now seems that these qualities might be an indications that mushroom are useful for treating cancer. Shiitake mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, they are said to be a natural source of interferon, a protein which appears to induce an immune response against cancer and viral diseases. They are also thought to tonify immunity and appears to have strong effect against tumors and cancers.  Mushrooms are also a good source of germanium, an element that improves cellular oxygenation and enhance immunity. * (based mostly on information from the book “Healing with whole foods” Paul Pitchford and from various online sources).

Oh wow, it sounds like we all should be eating more Shiitake…
Living in a city filled with pollution and being exposed to all these cancerous threats is pretty harsh on our bodies, and if adding Shiitake to my diet can boost up my odds, even just a bit, I’m in!
You can buy them fresh, dried or even powdered, you can soak them in hot water and drink as a tea or fill your on capsules and take as a supplement, personally I like to eat them, raw, or cooked.

Convinced yet? Let’s get down to business:
First make sure that when selecting fresh mushrooms they are firm and clean, if they look soft, sticky or have dark spots, you should not eat them. Fresh ones are best stored loosely in a paper bag inside your fridge and the dried ones in an air tight container in your pantry.
As for cooking them, you can be creative and add them into soups, sautéed veggies, rice dishes, pastas, sushi, salads and so on ( please share any recipes and/or ideas)
I really like adding them to my porcini and shallots when making a risotto (see recipe below) but if you feel like cooking something that simply screams “healthy” here is a recipe for Barley with vegetables:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup barley, soaked
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (soaked for 15 minutes if dried)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cups water (can be substituted with stock for extra flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. saute vegetables in sesame oil
  2. dry roast barley lightly
  3. place barley and vegetable in a pot with water and salt
  4. cover and bring to a boil
  5. reduce heat to low, simmer for 40 minutes

Mushroom risotto:

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pound Porcini, Shiitake and baby Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, just about 22 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bon Appetite !

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