Matsutake mushroom (pine mushroom) – a delicacy from Japan are highly prized by the Japanese for its distinct aromatic scent and flavor.
In Japan, wild matsutake mushrooms are hard to find and the high quality ones can cost up to $1,000 per pound and the exotic ones for up to $2,000. Luckily, we are able to find them in the local Japanese supermarket for about $40 per pound (US grown). Living up to its reputation, the aroma and flavor this mushroom offer is simply amazing.
Matsutake Gohan (Seasoned Rice with Matsutake) is probably the most popular and well-known matsutake recipe in Japan. Its flavor and essence has been compared to France’s truffles. During my research, I became curious on the differences between truffles and mushrooms. It turns out truffles and mushrooms are both fungi, the key difference is mushrooms grows above ground and truffles grow underground. Isn’t it interesting?
Matsutake Gohan (Wild Pine Mushroom Rice)
- 6 sprigs mitsuba (Japanese parsley)
- Rinse the rice under running water several times until the water is almost translucent and drain well. Trim off the bottom of the mushroom stems. Thoroughly clean the mushroom with a damp towel or paper towel. Do not wash the mushroom. Slice lengthwise into ⅛” (3 mm) slices.
- Put the rice and Seasonings in a rice cooker, and add dashi until a 3-cup line (you don't need to use all dashi). Add matsutake mushroom on top of the rice (do not mix!) and start cooking. Rice cookers these days include the soaking time; however, you can also soak rice for 15-30 minutes before cooking. Tip: Rice cooks evenly when it's not mixed with other ingredients. If you don't have a rice cooker, you can cook rice with a pot over the stove, an instant pot, or a donabe.
- When the rice is cooked, mix it gently. Garnish with mitsuba on top before you serve.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the freezer for a month. I recommend freezing the rice over refrigerating as the rice gets dry and hard in the fridge. Read more about how to store the rice.