In late September I noticed that the local Japanese market was selling matsutake mushrooms. Being a seasonal delicacy —they’re foraged from the wild, as they don’t take to cultivation— matsutake are quite pricey! But the spicy smell called out to me, and I couldn’t resist a cooking experiment.
After some web searches and poring over cookbooks, I found that, unlike most other mushrooms, sautéing or frying matsutake is a Bad Idea. Such cooking apparently removes the characteristic aroma. Instead, steaming (including cooking with rice) and grilling are preferred.
Enter the rice cooker, and what I got was a house filled with a gentle cinnamon-pepper perfume as it cooked. Oh, and a yummy dish as a result.
This is an excellent accompaniment to fish, chicken or veggie dishes. I often serve it with slices of takuan, the sweet-tart yellowish daikon pickle.
- 1 1/2 cups sushi rice, rinsed and drained
- 3 to 4 ounces fresh matsutake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into small pieces
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups dashi, or water (use the larger amount if using semi-brown sushi rice)
- 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (not the low sodium variety)
- 1 tablespoon saké
Place all of the ingredients in a rice cooker. Cook according to your cooker’s instructions.