Shiitake mushrooms have been all the rage for some time now, although fortunately not because they are a supposed superfood. Compared to other more common mushrooms – such as pleurotus ostreatus or ‘oyster mushrooms’, or Portobello mushrooms – shiitake mushrooms have a very intense flavour, and a somewhat firmer, perhaps less rubbery, texture than the aforementioned mushrooms.
It is usually found fresh in supermarkets, although, personally, I prefer the dried version that can be found in Asian supermarkets: they are cheaper, have a longer shelf life and have even more aroma than the fresh ones, as well as being a great option for making vegetarian broths.
For the following recipe I recommend using the dried version, but as not everyone has access to them, everything is measured so that we cook them fresh (if you have dried ones, just rehydrate them before cooking). Make an aromatic base with butter, garlic, shallots and ginger, and let the mushrooms cook in soy sauce until it is well reduced and the mushrooms have absorbed all the flavour (be careful: do not add salt at any stage). It may seem like a lot of fat, but believe me, you will appreciate it when served with a bowl of white rice.
Although not part of the recipe per se, I like to accompany the rice and mushrooms with a semi-cured egg yolk in soy sauce and sugar. To make it, simply mix one level tablespoon of white sugar with five tablespoons of soy sauce, separate the yolk from the egg white and add it to the mixture. Cover the yolk with a little more soy sauce and sugar (it does not need to be completely submerged) and leave it to rest in the fridge for about 45 minutes, basting the surface of the yolk with a little of the mixture from time to time.
Do not eat the mushrooms of the person accompanying you.
For 2 persons
- 250 g of fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger (1 tsp)
- 2 heaped tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 125 ml soy sauce
- 250 ml water
- Chives for garnish
- A couple of dried chillies (optional)
- 2 cured egg yolks (optional)
- Rice or pasta for garnish
- Chop the shallots, ginger and garlic.
- Toast the butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan that can be covered. Add the shallots, ginger, chillies and garlic. Sauté for about 10 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, stir and allow to toast lightly.
- Mix together the soy sauce, water, pepper and sugar. Add to the pan. Stir and braise, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the process.
- Remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook for a further five minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, leaving the butter fat.
- Serve directly over rice, pasta or whatever you have prepared to accompany it, accompanied – if you like – with the cured egg yolk.
Source: El Comidista (ES):