The other day one of the managers at work who has this amazing garden said she would bring in some mushrooms for the family to eat. She does something I plan to do this year and has some inoculated logs which grow shitake mushrooms. She grows them both on traditional oak logs and some eucalypt logs and each apparently imparts a slightly different flavour to the mushrooms.
The ones given to me where from the eucalyptus logs and the first thing A. and I noticed was the smell. We have both been in Japan and eaten shitake there these had that same smell but just a little different a bit spicier for want of better way to describe it.
Given such wonderful food I decided to can the original dinner idea and use them while they where less than 24 hours from picking. I made a classic dish shawanmushi (savoury custard) with shitake mushrooms and very simple pork and mushroom stir fry.
Both dishes came out perfectly and A. and the particularly the kids loved them. The mushrooms had flavour and a very different texture to store bought shitake. As A and I both said this obviously is how they are supposed to taste.
What a great gift for us we were very lucky… and yes I definitely have permission to grow my own mushroom logs next year. And for a return gift … well I think some of my homemade blackberry wine will be the go.
Shawanmushi (savoury custard)
- Mix two packets of bonito powder with 2 cups of warm water.
- Slice 2 mushrooms finely
- ½ tablespoon of soy
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of sake
- 3 eggs (the girls are laying despite the winter)
- 1 finely sliced spring onion
Mix all ingredients except mushrooms and spring onions together but try to avoid frothing up the mixture. Pour into bowls to steam (cups work well here) and place the mushrooms on top. Place in a tray with water ¾ of the way up the mixture. I tried it in the oven as I have done before but couldn’t get the heat right so put the tray on two gas hobs to finish it.
When almost cooked and you can tell this when the juice coming out is clear and the top is just set. Place a share of the sliced spring onion on the top to finish cooking for 5 more minutes.
Japanese Mushroom and Pork Stir Fry
- 400 grams of sliced pork
- As many mushroom as you have sliced (I had four good sized mushrooms)
- A bunch of spring onions sliced
- 1 tablespoon of soy
- 1 tablespoon of sake
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
Fry sliced pork in a little neutral vegetable oil (I used sunflower) when almost cooked add the spring onions and mushrooms. Fry lightly and then add the other ingredients (not too much of the other ingredients please as you want to just bind it together and not over power the mushrooms). Cook together for a few minutes till the soy and sugar are just lightly caramelised.
Serve on steamed rice.