Whole maitake offer the medicinal benefits along with the succulent, distinctive flavor that makes them a prized gourmet mushroom. Slow drying concentrates their rich taste and medicinal qualities for year-round use. Yukiguni dried Maitake are now available in retail packs at natural food stores and supermarkets. Reconstitute dried maitake and use them with their soaking water to make superb soups or sauces, or add them to stir-fries, fried rice or noodles, or casseroles.
Somen with Maitake Spinach Serves 3
This has become one of our favorite entrees. It is quick and easy, but delicious, satisfying, and healthful.
3 cup dried maitake 8 ounces somen or angelhair pasta 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons shoyu 2 bunches scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups (tightly packed) fresh spinach leaves; rinse, remove large stems and coarsely chop 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar herb seasoning salt or sea salt to taste (optional)
Soak the maitake in 1 1/2 cups tepid water for 30-40 minutes, then gently squeeze out excess water and coarsely chop. Save the soaking water for stock for soups or sauces.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, and sauté over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add the maitake and sauté 2 minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of the shoyu, toss, and cook 1-2 minutes more. Toss in the scallions, sauté briefly, then cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach, sauté 1 minute, then toss in the remaining teaspoon of shoyu, cover and cook 1 minute. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the vegetables, toss and cook another minute. Add herb seasoning salt or sea salt to taste, if desired.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil (add salt to the water if using angelhair pasta). Add the pasta, stirring to be sure the pasta does not stick together. Boil until just tender but cooked through, then drain. If using somen, briefly rinse the noodles in a colander under running water. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl containing the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, toss, then add the mushroom mixture, toss and serve immediately.
This soup is a delicious way to give your immune system a boost. Substitute other spring vegetables, if desired, and cook until tender.
5 cups water 1/3 cup dried maitake mushrooms about 2/3 pound fresh tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 cups watercress, chopped into 1 1/2-inch lengths 3 tablespoons brown rice or barley miso slivered green onions to garnish
Soak the maitake in the water for 20 minutes. Bring the water and mushrooms to a simmer, and gently cook the maitake for 15 minutes. Add tofu and simmer one minute, then add watercress and simmer 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Dissolve the miso in some of the stock and add it to the soup. Serve with a garnish of slivered green onion.
The MISO BOOK the Art of Cooking with Miso John & Jan Belleme A comprehensive guide to this most delicious and healthy food from miso basics to an extensive recipes in which miso is used in dips, spreads, soups, stews, vegetable dishes and more. A powerful chapter “ Miso Medicine” details this superfood’s healing properties and its role in maintaining good health. There’s even easy directions for making your own home made miso! The Belleme’s studied miso making in Japan with the Onozaki family and co-founded the American Miso Company. 182 pages Item #1110 ~ .....................$15.95