October 11, 2008

Growing mushrooms Days 6 & 7 (1st harvest)

Yesterday afternoon I got the oyster mushrooms out to take a picture and noticed that the largest was starting to shed spores. I had planned on letting them grow a day more but instead harvested them immediately per the directions. I had already eaten so I stored them in a paper bag in the fridge overnight and browsed oyster mushroom recipes online. I came across a recipe for
Sesame Crusted Fried Oyster Mushrooms and Carrot Salad on the blog Brownie Points. Fried oyster mushrooms sounded so appealing I had a hard time resisting the urge to make the recipe that night. I wanted to get a half decent picture so I forced myself to wait until this morning.

This morning I got ready to make the oyster mushrooms for lunch. First I carefully toasted some black sesame seeds. Some of the toasted sesame seeds went into the mushroom coating along with Wondra flour (instead of the original rice flour), dry polenta, smoked paprika, cayenne, and salt. The rest went into a simple salad of shredded carrots and sliced green onion dressed with rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, a bit of freshly grated ginger, a pinch of sugar and salt. I noticed that the largest shiitake was also ready to harvest and so I added it to the pile of oyster mushrooms. I heated the oil, trimmed the mushrooms and got a small bowl of soy milk ready. When the oil was hot I dipped each mushroom in the soy milk, then into flour mix and into the hot oil. The mushrooms were cooked in batches until golden brown and drained on paper toweling. Then they topped the piles of carrot salad.

The carrot salad on its own was good but I'd really love to try these mushrooms on a bowl of udon and broth. They were wonderfully crispy and the sesame seeds in the coating gave a lot of toasty flavor. The oyster mushrooms were good but the shiitake cap was more flavorful and held up better to the coating. The oyster mushroom log is now getting a rest in paper towel and I can restart it in a week. There are almost a dozen little shiitake mushrooms yet to mature and the pom pom blanc mushrooms have finally begun to bud! Right now they look like miniature cauliflower florets and aren't very photogenic but I'll get a picture of them as they get bigger.

Growing mushrooms Day 5
Growing mushrooms Day 4
Growing mushrooms Day 1
If you are interested in buying your own mushroom logs, I purchased mine from Gourmet Mushrooms.
The recipe for Sesame Crusted Oyster Mushrooms with Toasted Sesame Carrot Salad
(I used Wondra flour instead of rice flour and a little less smoked paprika. I also added a pinch of sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger to the salad dressing.)

The shiitake log on day 6 The largest shiitake mushroom on day 6
The oyster mushroom log on day 6
The first flush of oyster mushrooms before harvesting The oyster mushrooms on day 6
The shiitake log on day 7
The largest shiitake cap on day 7
My first mushroom harvest

I'm adding this to Bookmarked Recipes, an event started by Ruth's Kitchen's Experiments. Visit her site for the roundup of other bookmarked and tested recipes.