Monday, October 15, 2012

Matsutake on "touban" grill 松茸の陶板酒蒸し焼き

This year, I didn’t order the Matsutake 松茸 from my usual place “Oregon mushrooms”. The matsutake I got from the different place turned out not to be as good as what I got previously from Oregon. For one thing when I ordered from Oregon Mushrooms I could specifying the grade of matsutake I wanted. The different place had only one type of matsutake available. In addition when it arrived the caps were open and mostly broken off leaving only stems (there were more stems than caps). The aroma was very faint for even North American matsutake. In any case, I decide to make an effort to enjoy it. The first dish I made was “Touban” mushi(yaki) 陶板焼き.

“Toubann” 陶板 means a ceramic plate. I have one of the smallest ones with a round ceramic bottom, a dome shaped ceramic lid and a small steam hole (#3 in the picture below). It can be used as a grill. It diffuses and retains heat better than a metal grill. It is a good way to grill seafood which is then eaten with a dipping sauce. Another way is to use the dome-shaped lid to add a steam/braising component to the cooking. I intend to post other touban-yaki dishes sometime.

In any case, I decide to cook the mastutake with the touban.  As before, I cleaned and cut/tore the mastutake as seen in #1 in the picture below. I preheated the touban on a medium flame and coated the surface with light olive oil using a paper towel. I first grilled the matsutake (#2) for a few minutes and then seasoned it with a sprinkle of Kosher salt, and a splash of sake. I quickly put on the dome-shaped lid to sake-steam the mastutake. After one minute or so, I removed the lid (#4). Even after I removed the touban from the fire, the small amount of liquid on the bottom kept bubbling (The first picture).
When I opened the lid, there was a faint aroma of matsutake. We had this with a squeeze of lime. This is a good preparation of matsutake but the aroma of this batch was a bit disappointing. We could have had Royal trumpet mushrooms instead. Of course, the accompanying drink must be daiginjou-class 大吟醸 fruity and crisp cold sake. In our case, the usual 'Mu" 八重垣 無 sake did the job.

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