Saturday, October 5, 2013

Matsutake Mushrooms


Fall means matsutake mushroom season. Prices have come down this year for domestic foraged matsutake as narrated by this New York Times feature. So it's an opportune time to check out this exotic fungus.

Several years ago my wife and I enjoyed a kaiseki dinner. We were served two courses of matsutake: one simply grilled and the other a clear soup dish. Hands down I preferred the soup. The flavors seemed more intense. I can't remember the details of how the soup was prepared, but here's a recipe that seems to approximate it.

But grilling matsutake is also wonderful and easy to do. I especially like dipping the grilled mushroom in ponzu or lightly drizzling ponzu over it.

At the kaiseki dinner, I brought a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne, which together with the cost of the kaiseki meal in a private tatami room with our own Japanese server, was luxe. But, hey, it was our anniversary.

For everyday, I can tell you that pairing Michel Gahier's 2010 Chardonnay Les Follasses for just $23 with grilled matsutake mushrooms is nothing less than satori.

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