Miso Soup with Mixed Mushrooms and Udon
Buna-Shimeji, ブナシメジ (or ブナしめじ), Brown Beech Mushroom, Brown Clamshell Mushroom, Hypsizigus tessellatus.
These mushrooms are native to East Asia, though the cultivated mushrooms look different from the wild ones. They are sometimes white, but they are the same species.
The mushrooms are grown in bottles or cups in sealed clean-rooms; in researching these mushrooms I noticed quite a few references to lung problems among the pickers and packagers—I don’t know if there are similar problems among workers who grow other kinds of cultivated mushrooms.
They are so cute that I bought them as soon as I set eyes on them. I didn’t have a plan for using them, and in fact they lived in the fridge for 2 ½ weeks. Obviously they are good keepers!
I bought some enoki at that late date because they looked amazingly fresh—they are not “good keepers” so I had to cook all of them fast. I found this miso soup recipe in my project book, which I have never posted about. Very simple, and versatile. I added udon because I love noodles, and made some ginger pork on the side because J. works hard and I think he should have some meat.
I found several articles online that indicated shimeji are not good to eat raw because they have a bitter taste. One site even noted that people treasure this mushroom because it has a bitter taste: ummm, I didn’t like coffee as a kid because it was bitter. Acquired taste or not, I cooked them and they are firm, slightly crunchy, and have a slightly nutty flavor.
Miso Soup with Mixed Mushrooms
serves 2 to 3
- 8 to 12 oz of dried udon, cooked according to package directions
- 7 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons diced onions
- 3 Tablespoons thin scallion disks, green and white
- 3 cups dashi
- 2 Tablespoons akamiso
- Garnish: shichimi togarashi
Clean the mushrooms quickly unter cold running water, and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Cut the mushrooms int thick strips.
Immediately before serving time, heat the sesame oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, andd th onion, and cook until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and scallions, and cook, stirring for 10 to 30 seconds. Add the dashi, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the miso, and stir until it dissolves.
Distribute the noodles among bowls and pour soup over. Serve with shichimi togarashi.