The bottle of pickled mushroom shown on the right is a special product of Nagano. ' I know this guy! ' me yelped in surprize upon recognizing it in Singapore's supermarket, sold under a different brand though.
When I was first introduced to this slimy, suspicious looking pickled mushroom, I took the first intake with a rude gulp, followed by a silly laugh. It was totally delicious!!! Bursting with aroma of mushroom, the sourish, salty blend is just delectable. This fella surely makes any bland or tasteless food an edible delight!
How about preparing yours at home? With a fateful change of tv channel, I came to know families in other prefecture making their own. There were scenes of seasoning poured down, but the recipe was not revealed. (~~) The only clue was : Enoki Mushroom ( えのき茸 ), and the rest was up to me to crack. The Nagano-produce may not be made of the same mushroom but Enoki surely works. Enoki Mushroom is proven to have healthy properties, in any way, I reckon would be better than canned or treated stuff. Given a slimy and crisp texture, taste fulfillment is what's required next.
Worked it out and got it by the second attempt ( lounge back laughing ). Boy, was the recipe EASY! It convinced the Bear and he said we don't need the bottled stuff anymore. HAHAHA!!! =D
The homemade version is enhanced by adding sliced onions. Sometimes, I'll add a little dried chilli or chilli oil for an extra push. This side dish will help you finish anything bland like rice, porridge, tofu, blanched vegetables such as bean sprouts, greens and etc. Really yummy, oh you may like to check it out first by trying bottled ones, if available. Note : though this is prepared and stored ( up to one month?!?! ) by other prefectures, it is something I don't recommend. Food is best consumed fresh, besides, I absolutely have no idea what is the exact recipe that might guarantee a good shelf life.
Recipe for homemade pickle-flavour Enoki Mushroom
Produces a small volume to complement simple side dishes
One pack of Enoki Mushroom ( around 100g with root removed )
Onion slices of around 1/10 to quantity of mushroom, you may decide the volume
Japanese cooking wine/rice wine/or other mild wine : 2 tablespoon
Vinegar : 1 and a 1/2 tablespoon
Soy sauce : 1 and a 1/2 tablespoon
Sesame oil : 1 large tablespoon
1. After removing the root or mushroom, spread the bunch apart to check for internal growth of roots, it happens sometimes especially if the bunch is thick.
2. Heat sesame oil at medium fire, fry onion slices till soft and fragrant, and begining to brown a little.
3. Add in mushroom followed by wine, stir fry at high fire.
4. When mushroom begins to soften, bring fire down to medium, add in vinegar and stir fry well.
5. The mixture is begining to thicken and look more slimy, add in soy sauce and make a thorough stir. Retreive before the mixture gets dry, it should be very moist with little gravy.
In Japan, spinach is consumed in rather ' fixed ' ways. For first, the vege will be blanched in salt water, then drained, I mean DRAINED to dryness by squishing the vege to the last drop. Served with soy sauce poured over, the taste simply swerved from ' greens ' to ' salt '. With this recipe, spinach is enjoyed in homely evolution, forevermore. =)