Fall Bounty

Peter came home with a treasure; a fresh matsutake mushroom from Tohoku. It was a gift from the region where employees of  Ito Corporation volunteered over the summer. They had sent a huge box of this autumnal delicacy foraged wild from the area, and it was shared among the volunteers. After all the hardships the people of Tohoku are facing, they took time and effort to send us their appreciation.

The matsutake is prized for its delicate and woodsy scent. And so to showcase its aroma, I thought I would make osuimono, which is a very light soup. The mushroom needed to be just gently simmered for a few minutes and it was done. When you have basic wonderfulness, it doesn't take much to highlight its beauty. Just like the people of Tohoku.



Posted By: Jan Opdahl
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Matsutake Osuimono

Serves 3-4

800 ml water

200g katsuobushi

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 matsutake mushroom

Mitsuba or parsley

Sudachi or lemon

Cooking Process:

Prepare the dashi stock by boiling the water in a medium sized pot. Add the katsuobushi all at once and turn the heat off. Let sit for an hour, at least. Strain the liquid, discard the katsuobushi and return the strained stock to the pot.

Wash the mushroom very gently and relatively quickly in a bowl of salted water to get rid of dirt or any unseen bugs. Dry lightly with a paper towel. Cut off the bottom end, not very much, of the mushroom. Slice the mushroom very thinly, lengthwise; this will ensure quick cooking.

Bring the dashi back to a boil. Add the salt and soy sauce and taste for seasoning. Add in the sliced matsutake and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Once the mushrooms are tender, after a few minutes, turn off the heat.

How to Serve:

Garnish the soup with a few cut sprigs of mitsuba, which is a Japanese parsley and has a wonderful floral scent that goes nicely with the matsutake. Don't add too much, otherwise it will overwhelm the matsutake scent. Also add a very thin slice of sudachi, which is a Japanese citrus with undertones of both lemon and lime. Serve immediately.


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