Cooking Japanese: Matsutake Gohan with Ginkgo Nuts
The matsutake mushroom season is winding down, although I am still finding some matsutakes foraged in Oregon at the local co-op. I’m pretty sure they won’t be around anymore in the next two weeks. I love this mushroom, it is one of my favorites. I put together a quick and easy rice dish that highlights the flavor of these fragrant mushrooms.
The word “gohan” in Japanese means “rice” and often refers to a dish made up of a bowl of rice mixed with ingredients. For example, tako gohan means octopus rice, tamago gohan means egg rice, and matsutake gohan means matsutake mushroom rice.
Matsutake Gohan with Ginkgo Nuts
4 to 5 small to medium matsutake mushrooms. King trumpet or oyster mushrooms could be substituted if matsutakes are not available.
2 tbsp. sake
2 tbsp. soy sauce
8 to 10 ginkgo nuts, boiled and peeled
1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
2-inch square of dried kombu (kelp)
Add the rice, water, 2 tbsp. sake, the mirin, and the kombu to a rice cooker and program it to cook. While the rice is cooking, brush the dirt off the mushrooms with a stiff brush or very damp paper towel. Quarter the mushrooms lengthwise. In a deep skillet add the mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, 2 tbsp, sake, and soy sauce, and bring to a low simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
When the rice is done, spoon it into the pan with the mushroom mix. Mix well and serve.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)