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.