King Oyster Mushroom

King Oyster Mushroom or King trumpet mushroom What’s it called?
King oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom, king brown mushroom, french horn mushroom, boletus of the steppes, trumpet royale, Pleurotus eryngii (L). Cardoncello (Italy), koningsoesterzwam / kruisdistel oesterzwam / duinvoetje (Netherlands), eringi / エリンギ (Japan), saesongi peoseot / 새송이버섯, (Korea), xìng bào gū / 杏鮑菇 / cì qín gū / 刺芹菇 / cì qín cè ěr / 刺芹側耳 (China).

What is it?
This is the biggest mushroom in the family of Oyster Mushrooms. Originally from the around the Mediterranean, but nowadays you can find the king oyster mushroom all over Europe and Asia too. In fact, many are grown in and exported from Korea. The mushroom has a thick, round, meaty stem with a small, light brown cap.

Gegrilld King Oyster MushroomHow to use it?
King oyster mushrooms don’t have much taste when eaten raw, but when panfried or grilled they have a lovely, meaty umami taste. King oyster mushrooms are one of the best tasting mushrooms, the texture is slightly reminiscent of abalone. Just grill or panfry in slices on high heat and simply add a little melted butter, garlic and soy sauce. You can keep king oyster mushrooms for quite some time, vacuum packed, in the fridge.

Tips, tricks & recipes

Red Rice Yeast

Red Rice YeastWhat’s it called?
Red rice yeast / red yeast rice / red fermented rice / red rice koji / akakoji (EN), anka / ang-kak (Indonesia), hong-gug / 홍국 (Korea), hóng qú mǐ / hung kuk mai / 红曲米 (China)

What is it?
Red rice yeast is just normal, steamed, white rice which has been left to ferment for 4-6 dayes with the mold Monascus purpureus which colors the rice beautifully red.

How to use it?
Red rice yeast is often used as natural food coloring, e.g. in fermented tofu , red rice vinegar and sometimes also in Char Siu (red bbq pork), Peking duck and all kinds of red, Chinese pastry. Besides that it’s used to color some Chinese, Japanese and Korean rice wines pink. You can also just cook your red yeast rice like normal rice (1 cup rice : 1½-2 cups water, for 25 minutes) and eat it for supper, although I can’t recommoned that as it’s bitter and has a metallic taste to it. If kept airtight you can keep red rice yeast for several months.

Tips, tricks & recipes

  • Also read the article about : Fuzhou red wine with step-by-step instructions to make this ricewine at home.
  • Because some claim red rice yeast is very healthy you can buy concentrated red rice yeast in tablets at drugstores and pharmacist. It’s supposed to influence your cholesterol, bloodpressure and digestion.

Kona karashi (Japanese Mustard)

kona karashi (Japanese mustard)What’s it called?
Japanese mustard, Japanese mustard powder, hot mustard, wa-garashi / 和からし (mustard), kona-karashi / 粉からし (mustard powder), neri-garashi / ねりからし (mustard powder paste).

What is it?
Kona karashi simply is the Japanese version of mustard, only normally it’s not a readymade sauce or paste like we´re used to in the West, it’s a powder that you have to mix yourself with a little water. This means the mustard will taste hotter, much more pungent, but also a little bit more bitter and less sour because no vinegar is added like in Western mustards. It is made of the same, ground mustard seeds though, so it isn’t hugely different. Nowadays you can also buy it in tubes, but why would you?

How to use it?
Just mix some powder with a little water (ratio 1:1) to form a paste. Preferably shortly before you want to eat it as it will lose flavor quickly once exposed to the air. If you want to keep it, then cover it with some cling film.
Serve it on the side with your steak, schnitzel cq tonkatsu, oden, miso-soup or natto. Or mix it with some soy sauce, ketchup or mayonnaise to form a sauce. Use it to dry rub a pork chop, whatever you like. Japanese mustard powder keeps almost for ever.

Tips, Tricks & Recipes

  • You can add a little turmeric powder to lift the color into a brighter yellow.
  • Kona Karashi is actually quite comparible to Colmans’s English Mustard Powder. So you could substitute one with the other.