A prized health food, great cooks adore them for the earthy flavour they impart to any dish.
Mushrooms are kind of a perfect food. Rich and meaty, they taste indulgent. They’re also amazingly versatile and have serious nutrition perks. In one recent study, people who ate shiitake mushrooms daily for a month had stronger immune systems. But you don’t have to seek out only this exotic type. Research shows that the antioxidant levels of button mushrooms are just as high. So get creative, and start adding these fungi to your meals. To get you going, these shroom lovers share their favourite recipes.
ENRICH YOUR MORNING OATMEAL
SOURCE TARA O’BRADY, AUTHOR OF SEVEN SPOONS: MY FAVORITE RECIPES FOR ANY AND EVERY DAY
Toast steel-cut oats in butter or olive oil for about three minutes. Then, following package directions, cook them in water with a pinch of salt, stirring often. Season with red or white miso, and top with button mushrooms sauteed in sesame oil with a splash of soya sauce. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
MAKE VEGAN “BACON”
SOURCE CHLOE COSCARELLI, CHEF-OWNER OF NEW YORK CITY’S BY CHLOE IN THE US
Slice shiitake mushrooms 2.5cm thick and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Spread the slices on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake at 177 deg C in oven for about 15 minutes. Check them every five minutes, and rotate the pan if one side is cooking faster than the other. Remove when they’re crispy, golden brown and about half the size they were before. Use instead of bacon in a sandwich, as a garnish for a pasta dish or crumbled on top of sauteed vegetables.
HAVE YOU TRIED MAITAKE?
Meaning “dancing mushroom” in Japanese, the maitake has a crunchy texture and a distinctively earthy flavour. In feudal Japan, it was worth its weight in silver and prized as a tribute to the shogun (military commander).
More recently, Japanese and American scientists have discovered that it contains compounds that may have immunity-boosting and anti-cancer effects.
Best of all, the maitake is versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways – steamed, sauteed, in soup or deepfried if you’re feeling indulgent!
NTUC Fairprice sells Hokto maitake mushrooms ($2.10 per pack).