Broiled Matsutake

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    as a first course
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Matsutake in its opened-out stage (less pricey than other phases) makes an impressive, if still fairly extravagant, appetizer. Allow one quarter-pounder per person—or more for healthy appetites and healthier budgets. Do not be tempted to cook the caps on high heat, or they will char on the outside before being cooked within. Serve this simple dish with an elegant sake—to admirers of quiet flavors.

Ingredients

  • 4 matsutake (each cap about 4 inches in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon mild oil, such as grapeseed or corn
  • Small mizuna or tiny oakleaf lettuce leaves

    Method

    1. Preheat broiler to 400°F (see Note). Cut stems gently apart from mushroom caps, taking care not to break caps. Trim stem bases. If muddy or obviously tough, peel stems, then halve lengthwise. Clean gills with a soft brush. If caps are muddy, rinse and scrub lightly with vegetable brush; or peel if hopelessly dirty.
    2. Combine sake, shoyu, and oil. Brush all parts of mushrooms with this, repeating until all is absorbed. Let stand 15 minutes or so.
    3. Place mushrooms on preheated broiler pan close to heat, gill side down. Broil until lightly browned and slightly crisped—not charred—about 10 minutes. Turn over and cook to the same stage, about 5 minutes.
    4. Serve hot, on mizuna leaves.