Wonders of Enoki Mushrooms in Bellevue

The Healthy Enoki

You must have seen those pure white, long and slim stems and small caps atop of the enoki mushroom in your soups or salads. They are also called Enokitake or Winter Mushrooms. They are commonly found in East Asian dishes, particularly Japanese dishes like nabemono and sukiyaki. Tender yet firm in texture, they come with a crunchy bite and a mild, refreshing fruity flavor.

Available year-round, the mushrooms grow wild on wood stumps, in bundles, of certain trees like the Chinese Hackberry tree, mulberry and persimmon trees. Other types of wild enoki mushrooms differ in color and texture, but experts advise to avoid slimy and brownish stems. If you get cultivated mushrooms, since they are not exposed to light, their stems are white; also grown in a carbon dioxide-rich environment that promotes the long stems. Wild enoki mushrooms have brownish and shorter, thicker stems and larger caps.

You can complement soups, salads, stir-fries and noodle dishes with enoki. They can also be added to omelets, risottos, hot pot and curries. Chefs like to roll up the mushrooms in spring rolls and sushi or wrapped with bacon or thin slices of beef and grilled. They add flavor and texture to soba noodles, soy, ginger, bacon, lemongrass, fresh herbs and seafood. Getting them fresh, they will remain crisp and firm in the refrigerator for a week.

The mushrooms are high in dietary fiber and protein, and rich in the minerals niacin, calcium, potassium, selenium and iron. They’re also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and are immune system boosters. Cultivated for hundreds of years, they are one of the first mushrooms to be studied for cancer prevention. It was found out by an epidemiologist in Japan that people living in the Nagano prefecture had unusually low cancer rates for the period 1972 to 86. He learned that the region was the center of cultivation for enoki mushrooms.

Healthy Mushrooms in Bellevue

Come by Flo, your Bellevue Japanese restaurant for some authentic classics. Our ingredients are carefully sourced and always fresh for your dining pleasure, such as our mushrooms – shiitake or enoki.

Omakase: For the Brave and Adventurous in Bellevue

What You Should Know Before Ordering Omakase

When a diner says to the chef: “I will leave it to you,” it is actually a fine tradition at Japanese eating places that allows the chef to let his creative juices flow in making your dish. “Omakase!” is trusting your chef and at the same time hoping you will have a great dining experience. Though before you go omakase, bear in mind a few details.

Does your restaurant always have fresh ingredients in stock everyday? If so, then you can trust easily. Not all, but most large or chain restaurants or other restaurants with limited ingredients may not do omakase to your liking. Small, intimate restaurants may have the culture of omakase. They usually have counter seats and an open kitchen. It is best if you have a seat next to the chef.

You can also get a conversation going with your chef. A small social interaction can do wonders for your dish. Your chef may even explain to you his creation and tell you why he is choosing certain ingredients over others. If it’s ok with him, you can snap a few photos of him while working your dish. Just be careful with personal questions. Some may indulge you.

Omakase might not be for you if you have dietary restrictions. It is not polite to instruct your chef what and what not to put into your dish. It is not how it works. You can’t even ask what you’ll get. The polite thing to do is to eat your dish when the chef offers it.

At the end of the meal, you’ll get a slip of paper that indicates what they’re charging you for your omakase, drinks included. Do not ask for an itemized bill, it is not to be considered an expense, but a request for a wonderful meal. The price may be hefty but its value is immeasurable. Trust the chef and expect to be delighted.

Delightful Omakase at FLO

Trust your chef at Flo, your Bellevue Japanese Restaurant, where omakase is always a surprise and always to wonder about. Experience our chef’s creations at their best. Worry not for you will know how much the experience will cost you. Our omakase is always a five-course tasting menu to enjoy.

Sake at Bellevue Japanese Restaurant: Warm or Cold?

Which Sake is Best?

If you are a first-timer of Japan’s national drink – sake – it might be good to experiment first to see for yourself which of the varieties suit you best. This alcoholic drink made of fermented rice and water presents with a different taste depending on the temperature it is served. Some sakes are at their best when cold, some are better tasting when warmed.

If you are worried about which is the proper sake for you when you dine out, do ask the restaurant staff for recommendations or any sake expert. There is no hard-and-fast rule. Should you drink sake warmed or cold, or at room temperature? But if you like the taste of a particular one, then that is it.

Many sake experts say that ginjo and daiginjo sakes are usually best chilled as cold temperatures enhance their aroma and flavors. They taste light and refined, fruity or fragrant. On the other hand, junmai and honjozo sakes are best when warmed which draws out their complex, full flavors and smooths them somewhat. You see, a different temperature produces a different characteristic of the same sake. Just remember that over-heating or over-chilling any particular sake can disrupt its flavors.

Warmed or Cold Sake: Your choice is best

Know more about sake when you visit Flo, your Bellevue Japanese restaurant. Experiment with our sakes and you’ll find the one best suited to your taste – warmed or chilled just right.

High Quality Teriyaki at FLO

Teriyaki: From 17th Century Japanese Cooking

Teriyaki, yakitori and sukiyaki are terms having “yaki” in them, and the word is interpreted to mean “grilled.” Teriyaki originated from 17th century Japan and is a method of cooking and not the dish itself. However, looking into MW dictionary, it is defined as a Japanese dish of meat or fish that is grilled or broiled after being soaked in a seasoned soy sauce marinade. That entry was made in the 60’s when the cuisine became popular in the US.

On the other hand, the teriyaki sauce came not from Japan but from Hawaii, from Japanese immigrants who came to settle there. Today, it’s ingredients consist of brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, mirin (rice wine) sake, and soy sauce.

Teriyaki sauce is sweet and is a favorite marinade for chicken, beef, fish and other meats. After they are marinated for a minimum of 30 minutes, longer if you want a more heightened flavor, the meats are usually grilled, then served with vegetables and rice. It can also be used as a dipping sauce.

Interestingly, while chicken teriyaki can easily be found in American menus, it is only occasionally seen in Japanese menus. This is due to the fact that by tradition, the teriyaki cooking method in Japan is primarily applied to the preparation of fish, like yellowtail, marlin, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna. More often used in the West are the white and red meat – chicken, pork, lamb, and beef.

Not Just Any Teriyaki at Bellevue Japanese Restaurant

At Flo Japanese restaurant, you are treated to exceptional teriyaki selections – we have chicken, salmon and beef – all using high quality soy sauce that flavors our protein dishes. If you are thinking about lunch in Bellevue and craving Japanese, Flo is just the place to have some high-quality teriyaki.