Check It Out

No.233 (3/22/13)

ENOKI Mushroom Power

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

Courtesy Information:

Enoki mushrooms (called Enokitake or Enokidake in Japanese) are one of the most popular cultivated mushrooms in Japan. The domesticated version of this mushroom comes in bunches of thin white stalks joined at the base with small white caps. The Chinese call them Golden Needle Mushrooms. The Japanese people consume enoki mushrooms in miso soup, marinated with other vegetables, deep-fried like tempura, stir fried, or cooked like sweet rice. Rich in anti-oxidants, consuming enoki mushrooms is very effective to relieve constipation and also lowering cholesterol.

Recently, making enoki mushroom paste and freezing them into cubes has became a big hit in Japan. Simply, it is called “ENOKI GOURI (Enoki Ice).” You make the paste with a blender, cook in a pot and freeze the paste in an ice tray. This innovative product is convenient for a variety of cooking options and allows consumers to stock up this nutritious food as a frozen soup broth for long term keeping.

Enoki Gouri was created by Mr. Hirohumi Atou, spokesperson of the board of directors of Japan Agricultural Cooperative (JA) in Nakano city, Nagano Prefecture. He took over his father's business at 18 and spent over 40 years in developing enoki mushroom cultivation; in a sense, he is a master of enoki mushrooms. He advises consumers to take enoki extract daily for their good health. Dr. Fumio Eguchi, a professor at Takasaki University of Health and Welfare in Gunma Prefecture confirms the nutritional benefits of enoki mushrooms. You can easily make Enoki Gouri, but can be very time consuming. Therefore, it is convenient for people to purchase the manufactured product online.

How to Make Enoki Gouri Ingredients:

Enoki mushrooms 300 grams (two packages) Water 400 ml
*Exposing Enoki mushrooms to sunshine before blending can increase Vitamin D2.

1. Cut off and discard the roots of the bunch of Enoki mushrooms and chop the stems into one-third lengths. Add them in the blender with water and blend for about 30 seconds.

2. Put the paste into a big pot and bring to a boil, then cook on low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally. Take care not to burn the mixture

3. After cooking about an hour, set to cool, and then put the cooled paste into an ice cube tray or Ziploc bag to freeze.
*You can store the paste frozen for about two months.

How to Use Enoki Gouri

Consuming three cubes a daily is best for health benefits. You can use it as soup stock and cook a variety of soups or stews. You can cook it with vegetables and it goes with just about anything. For example, you can even add it in a green tea or in any kind of drink. Some people enjoy it with alcohol on the rocks! Surprisingly, the frozen paste does not have any taste at all so it doesn't affect the flavor of dishes or drinks, and you would doubt that you are even eating (or drinking) the mushrooms. You can check the cooking video from the link above. While you live in Japan, I recommend you try unique and exotic foods as much as possible.

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