Many of Gourmet Mushrooms varieties are excellent in tempura, but perhaps the best is Maitake Frondosa. The Maitake’s beautiful, irregular shape helps the light tempura batter to cling, and the flavor is extraordinary.
Whether you use a prepared tempura batter mix, or make your own, remember these two key tips: use ice water for the batter and mix very minimally, a few lumps are ok. You don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour. The traditional method of stirring with chopsticks is therefore preferable to a whisk.
1 package Tempura mix, prepared according to directions
1 cup cake or AP flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch or rice flour
1 cold egg
1 cup ice water – chill water and ice cubes for ten minutes, then remove cubes and measure
Mix batter just before cooking tempura.
Heat oil to 340 – 350 degrees. Pull Maitake Frondosa by hand into pieces about 1 inch by 2 inches. [CAUTION: Hot oil is dangerous. Make sure not to allow plain water to get into pan, which may spatter.]
Use chops sticks to dip Maitake into batter, shake off excess, then carefully place in oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You don’t want the frying temperature to drop. Work in batches. As Maitake cooks, drain on paper towels.
You can season the Maitake Tempura in many ways. The traditional Japanese dipping sauce consists of dashi (a stock made from dried kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes), rice wine, soy sauce and grated ginger or daikon. Instant dashi can be found in many Asian markets and specialty stores. I like just salt and fresh ground pepper. The Brits might sprinkle with malt vinegar a la fish and chips.
Traditional dashi dipping sauce:
1 cup dashi soup stock
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine especially for cooking)
1/4 cup soy sauce
You could call these pickled, or marinated. Whichever word you use, they are delicious and can be used in so many ways. We made a summer side dish from them by adding the big, white Italian kidney beans, called cannellini. The mushrooms could be also be served just as they are as antipasto; chopped on bruschetta; tossed with pasta for a pasta salad; or as a garnish for fried fish or calamari.
8 oz. MYCOPIA brand mushrooms, single variety or mixed
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup water
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 ½ tsps. sugar (optional)
¼ tsp. whole black peppercorns
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. coriander seed
1 small bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 sprigs of thyme or oregano if available – add last
Separate small mushrooms into individual stems. Cut larger ones as desired. Put mushrooms and all ingredients (except herbs) in a non-reactive shallow skillet or sauce pan. If you are serving as antipasto, you can leaves the peppercorns and coriander seeds loose. If you are going to add the mushrooms to another dish, then you can put these into cheesecloth or a mesh tea ball. Bring to the boil together, simmer for five minutes, stirring frequently.
Allow to cool, then pack into a glass jar, adding fresh herb sprigs if desired. Refrigerate at least two days before serving. Will keep up to three weeks.
For our presentation with cannellini we made a mix of about 1/3 beans and 2/3 mushrooms. You could vary that ratio to suit your taste. We added some finely diced red bell pepper and fresh chopped parsley for color. There’s plenty of flavor in the marinade, and you probably won’t need to add more salt or pepper, but a little drizzle of fresh olive oil would be welcome.
A hearty mushroom frittata with the fresh taste of spring asparagus. You can sub egg-substitute – but there’s no sub for the Parmesan!
3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
8 oz. mixed Chef’s Sampler mix, or other MYCOPIA™ mushrooms
½ bunch (about ¾ cup when cut up) asparagus in one inch pieces – use just the tender parts
3 Tablespoons shallots, chopped
12 eggs (or 3 cups Egg Beaters™)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fines herbes, dried (Fines herbes is a classic French blend of chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon.)
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
3 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (or milk, or cream)
¼ to ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Cut mushrooms into ½ inch pieces and asparagus slightly larger. Sauté mushrooms, asparagus and shallot in olive oil in a 10” non-stick skillet that can go under the broiler. Mushrooms should be well cooked, shallots not browned, asparagus, green and nicely done. Oddly enough, it all seems to happen in about the same time.
Meanwhile beat the eggs, yogurt and seasonings together. Pour into the pan, reduce heat to lowest setting and stir gently. The secret of a good frittata is to have the eggs cooked enough, but not dry. When not yet set, sprinkle parmesan over the top and put the pan under the broiler. It will finish cooking there. Allow to brown just lightly. If your pan is cooperative, you can slide it out whole onto a large plate, if not, cut into wedges to serve. Some folks like to flip it upside down. You’ve got choices. It tastes great any way you serve it.
Adding sauteed MYCOPIA mushrooms to this classic retro casserole boosts the flavor and the nutrition.
4 c. cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 oz. dry)
1 Tb. olive oil
8 oz. (or more!) single variety or mixed MYCOPIA mushrooms
4 Tb. butter
4 Tb. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
Separate mushrooms into single stems and cut into bite-sized pieces. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan and stir in flour. Cook for a minute or two. Do not brown flour. Stir in salt and whisk in cold milk. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, whisking at first to prevent lumps, then simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheeses. Add sauce to mushrooms and pasta. Transfer to three-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.