This dish emphasises the intensity of flavour that can be achieved by applying different techniques to a single ingredient: fermenting, dehydrating, frying, using the ingredient in its raw state and featuring unexpected parts of that ingredient, such as the dried shiitake skins. These different techniques, combined with a couple of complementary ingredients—miso and steamed grilled eggplant—all work together to create a powerful expression of the mushroom.
Heat a chargrill or heavy-based frying pan until hot. Grill the steamed eggplant strips until golden brown. Lightly season with sea salt, set aside and keep warm.
Melt half the unsalted butter in a non-stick frying pan over low to medium heat.
Remove the fermented mushrooms from the brine and warm them gently in the melted butter. Set aside and keep warm.
Slice the reserved field mushroom caps on a Japanese mandolin to a 1 mm (1/32 inch) thickness. Melt the remaining butter in a large non-stick frying pan over low to medium heat and add 16 slices of the field mushroom flesh. Gently warm and set aside, keeping warm.
In a small saucepan, gently warm the mushroom, miso and eggplant paste.
Melt the clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan over low to medium heat. Add 24 pieces of the dried shiitake skins and warm through until translucent. Set aside.
In the centre of each warmed large, flat white serving plate, place a tablespoon of the mushroom, miso and eggplant paste. Spread out with the back of the spoon.
Sprinkle over the dark gill powder and the white shiitake mushroom powder.
Place 2 slices of the fermented mushrooms on the paste, then place 3 strips of the chargrilled eggplant flesh on the paste. Slightly curl 2 pieces of the warmed white field mushroom flesh and place on the paste.
Finish the dish with shiitake skins, crisp dried and fried shiitake slices and the fresh field mushroom gills. Serve.
© 2014 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.