I am so happy because apparently three of the fruiting bodies decided to grow and be harvested early, they were ready in 5 days in compared to a week or two. While the other ones are still growing, I am eager to turn the three that I harvested into some deliciousness!
Nothing can bring out the taste of Shiitake mushroom other than cooking it the most simple way possible. I enjoy Shiitake in shabu shabu very, VERY much! Just boil the mushroom in water or a soup base and eat it by itself or with a little ponzu sauce or soy sauce. Yum! I removed the stems because they are bitter and rough. So for one of the caps, I decided to just boil it in dashi. Quick and simple! Oh my gosh, I am not sure if I am overly excited or this fresh mushroom that was only harvested 1 day ago tasted so much better than those fresh ones bought from supermarket.
Shiitake in Bonito Ponzu - Simmered in dashi, and drizzled with ponzu and topped with bonito flakes.
Sliced Shiitake Mushroom Salad with Edamame - Shiitake simmered in dashi, edamame and egg flower broth. Drained and marinated in rice vinegrette and sesame oil.
After making two Asian inspired dishes, I decided to add an American one to this early harvest. There are a whole list I wanted to try but I will save some of these ideas for the next harvest. For now, I'll keep it quick and simple by just using cream and puff pastry. I used half and half instead of heavy cream because one, I don't want the dish to overload with fat since puff pastry already contains lots of butter. Second, I don't want the cream taste to overpower the Shiitake.
Shiitake Puff Pastry - Shiitake in a cream reduction, stuffed in a puff pastry. Decorated with lettuce, cranberries and gorgonzola cheese.
I was surprised because the Shiitake mushroom taste was stronger than the puff pastry. In addition to that, if eaten with cranberries, it added extra sweetness, but seemingly overpowering the mushroom. If eaten with cheese, the cream sauce gets richer. I like eating it with the lettuce because the leaves balance out the buttery puff pastry and the cream.
I can't wait to harvest more later and make more Shiitake inspired dishes.