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This is my absolute favorite fall dish. Matsutake are wild pine mushrooms and have a very distinctive flavor, aroma, and texture. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, we picked, received, and passed along boxes of matsutake mushrooms from the end of September until the frosts in November. In Japan, it's not uncommon to see matsutake mushrooms going for $75 or more per pound, although I understand the price has dropped a bit. There are lots of ways to eat these treasures, but this is my favorite. This is not the traditional way to cook Matsutake gohan, but it works pretty well. The rice kernels should be cooked through but not mushy. (NOTE: Make sure to get your mushrooms from a reliable and knowledgeable source. They look like another type of mushroom that is very very toxic.) Enjoy!
- 2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, washed until water runs clear and drained (Japanese variety, NOT glutinous)
- 2 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 -2 matsutake mushroom, cleaned,shredded lengthwise,and soaked in a mild salt water solution for 10 minutes
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup carrot, small dice
- 4 tablespoons sake rice wine
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- Put rice and water in a rice cooker and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Add matsutake, carrots, soy sauce, and sake in the rice cooker and turn on the switch to start.
- After rice cooker turns off, gently mix the rice to distribute the goodies on the top.
- Cover the rice.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Optional: I also add one abura-age (fried tofu), rinsed, squeezed, and sliced into thin strips when I put in the matsutake.
- Sometimes, I'll also include a bit of diced chicken as well.
- During the resting time, I sprinkle a few frozen green peas on the top of the rice to add a bit of color just mixing them in before serving.