Mad about shrooms? So are we, well the legal sort of course. If you’re looking for a meat substitute that has plenty of texture then look no further than mushrooms. There are over 22 different edible mushrooms to choose from in the market such as enoki, oyster, portobello, shiitake or white button—all mushrooms which are jam packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, D, B6 and B12, large doses of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid in addition to minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and selenium not to mention that they’re fat free and low in calories.
Shitake mushrooms have been used by the Chinese and Japanese to treat colds and flu because they contain an immune-supporting lentinan, which wards off allergies and cancer, and L-ergothioneine, an antioxidant that is not destroyed when the mushrooms are cooked. Mushrooms are also great for those looking to lose weight or reduce their cholesterol because the fiber content in them help lower bad cholesterol and regulate diabetes.
In Asian cuisine, mushrooms are a humble but versatile addition to most dishes including salads, soups, pizzas, pastas, noodles and stirfries. They generally do not have a strong smell and can absorb flavours very well regardless of cultural cuisines. Here are some awesome ways you can add mushrooms to your everyday meals.
You can opt to use fresh or dried shitake mushrooms, just make sure to soak them well until they soften before slicing them for use in your fried noodle dish.
Saute the mushrooms slightly in olive oil before topping them onto your favourite salad.
Just remove the stem from your Shitake or Portobello mushrooms as they’re very tough to chew and stuff them with a stuffing of your choice. Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes and you have an easy and tasty appetizer!
Enoki mushrooms can be eaten raw or lightly cooked so as to maintain its chewy texture. They can be added to soups and are staple ingredients in steamboats and the infamous bakuteh. Here’s a unique use of enoki, wrap bacon strips around them and pop them into an oven or cook them over a gril.
You can also sauté enoki mushrooms with garlic, shallots and soy sauce before adding them on top of a tofu dish.
If you’re craving for burger, use Portobello mushrooms as your substitute patty. Marinate them with pepper, olive oil, minced onion, garlic and balsamic vinegar for about 20 minutes before grilling them on medium high heat for 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Melt a slice of cheese on top of each mushroom just before they’re ready for serving.
Cream based mushroom soup is a good old American classic made out of minced mushrooms, butter, chicken stock, cream and served with bread. The Asian version is made out of clear chicken broth with additions such as ginger, cabbage and carrot for that extra bite.
So the next time you’re dining out or shopping for groceries, challenge yourself to try out all the different mushrooms there are out there because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain from these little cute capped fungis!