The Japanese grocery had fresh firm king trumpet mushrooms, a magnificent seven inches long. What luscious things I could do with those! They needed something smooth and rich, but a little risqué—a little salty, a bit unfamiliar—like a glaze of soy sauce and butter.
Chopped sweet red pepper and green onions attract the eye with garish color, so the diner will be surprised by the elegance of the brown mushrooms. The velvety, chewy long thin mushroom slices contrast with the thin somen noodles coated with crunchy black sesame seeds.
— king trumpets, maitake and shimeji —
get ready to rise on Southern California turf
“OF COURSE, farming mushrooms is nothing new. They’ve been cultivated for centuries and the introduction of large-scale mushroom growing in the U.S. dates to the 1890s.
In San Marcos, just north of San Diego, the Japanese mushroom giant Hokto Corp. is working with its American partner, Golden Gourmet Mushrooms, to build a massive, Space Age growing facility that within just a couple of years will be producing as many as 6 million pounds of these exotic mushrooms annually. (Shimeji, Hen-of-the-Woods, and King Trumpet)
The king trumpets are also called king eryngii, or king oysters (technically they’re Pleurotus eryngii, and are closely related to the common oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus). King trumpets are almost all stem and are large — commonly 3 or 4 inches long and sometimes as many as 6 or 7. Their texture is firm and meaty and their flavor is mild.”
King Mushrooms with Black Sesame Somen
recipe by Tess
- 1 7-inch king oyster mushrooms (stem and cap)
- 2 ½ Tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon toasted black sesame, crushed
- 2 green onions, sliced diagonally 1-inch long
- ½ small baby cucumber, roughly chopped (optional)
Wipe the mushroom with a paper towel. Slice it thinly lengthwise, rotate the stack of slices 90° and slice lengthwise again. You are making long mushroom “matchsticks.”
Heat a pan and melt the butter, add the mushroom slices and fry for a few minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir to be sure the mushrooms are coated. Heat for a minute but don’t let the soy sauce burn. Set aside.
Toast the black sesame seeds and crush in a suribachi.
Slice the green onions, and chop the cucumber.
Boil the somen, drain, and rinse.
Toss the noodles with the sesame seeds and divide into bowls. Top with the vegetables and mushrooms.