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20 responses to “Cooking the Magnificent Matsutake”

  1. Jake Smulkowski

    Hank, this was a wonderful discussion of a wonderful food. I’ve only had the opportunity to try Matsusake once. I appreciate your writing, because it always pushes me to do better with local, personally-sourced ingredients. Thanks for doing what you do.

  2. Johann Kwan

    Hank… I’m sitting in one of my favourite Italian restaurants, just had a magnificent agnolotti, but you somehow made me want mushrooms now.

  3. Carter

    Like the commenters before me, you’re making me badly want to get my hands on some matsutake. I’ve only tried them one time and the specimens I was cooking up weren’t nearly so fine as yours. Thank you for the inspiration and the great article.

  4. Sonoma Matsutake Mushrooms - Santa Rosa Original Farmers Market

    […] From Honest Food, some ideas about how to use matsutakes.  Recipes that capture the aroma are the best. […]

  5. Joe

    Had a beautiful Feast of Mushrooms for Christmas brunch and the matsutakes were definitely standout.



  6. Terl

    The ‘never wash’ rule depends on how & when it’s done. It’s true that you should never wash just before using because you can’t dry them off properly and will introduce too much water when cooking.

    But mushrooms get drenched in the forest during downpours. That’s no different from washing. You just have to give them time to dry off naturally, usually overnight.

    I found the damp towel technique doesn’t remove all the dirt. We wash them right after we get home and spread out on tea towels to dry. Works like a charm.

  7. Darrin Nordahl

    Excellent, excellent post, Hank. I had to share that my retail source for the California harvested matsutake charges just $15…which I think is about the best deal anywhere. And they are big, big specimens.

    But I’m fairly new to matsutake, and the caps hand-sized and wide open. Maybe this isn’t as appealing, hence the lower price? Here’s a picture of a couple from my blog, showing the cap-to-stem size. Maybe others have thoughts on this?

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  9. Sarah G

    Great ideas. I just bought some dried matsutake wild foraged from northern Saskatchewan. I can hardly wait to try them.

  10. David Hicks

    just bought some 9/28/13 for $35US/lb. they came peeled in water, though I was not expecting that; but they were delivered. Great fragrance and I made a little scrambled eggs with two of the smaller ones. They were as firm as raw cauliflower when I ate them. Why water: why peeled; should I have cooked longer?

  11. michael sanders

    Just back from a few spots up here in Maine. Yes, we do have matsutake here. Today, found about 2 pounds of the #1s and #2s, either completely unopened or just slightly so with the whole veil intact. Then 4 pounds of fully-opened. The car fairly reeked on the way home. So now, yes, matsutake gohan. But, with the older specimens, love to hear about drying for powder and culinary uses thereof. (Scallops, brush of soy sauce, dusted w/matsu powder and grilled?

    And cleaning! I’ve used all methods above. As it rained last night, they are very dirty. So I’ll probably use the damp paper towel method, dry, then use immediately.

  12. mike

    just picked a couple of pounds of these babies from beside our driveway where they grow every year. This is coastal BC and the pine ‘shrooms are pretty soaked anyway from today’s rain so I washed them under running water. I’ll make pine mushroom pizza with these – thin crust, olive oil, basil, a few sliced tomatoes, and sliced pines on top. Nice.

  13. Urban foray: ShinBay in Scottsdale - Arizona Mushroom Forum

    […] was also no sign of the fragrant, hugely expensive matsutake (Pine mushroom, Tricholoma magnivelare) in this dish, but the server stated that this wild mushroom is one of Chef […]

  14. Shroom Guy

    I found 6 in the woods today even though rain has been so minimal. I pre steamed then stir fried them after which I put them on a salad with radicchio, arugula, Chinese radish, and red onion. They were still very much there and evident. Matsutake are one of the most unique mushrooms I pick in both taste and character.

  15. Arty

    Whole foods sells them at a ridiculously expensive prices. I suggest buying these at a Japanese grocery store. While whole foods has them piled for $35 a pound, Japanese grocery stores have them carefully packaged (fresh) for about $15 a pound. They look fresher taste just as good as WF if not better. If you live in a big city, check out the Japanese grocery store first. As Japanese love mushrooms as a delicacy, you will find varieties that you wont in WF or other asian supermarkets.

  16. Amber

    Any suggestions for how to adjust this recipie using dried mushrooms? We saved some of last fall’s harvest, but I’m never sure how to best reconstitue.

  17. chantelle

    We just scored a bountiful harvest of matsutakes on our forest hike today. Wish I had access to the ingredients for the gohan, small price to pay for living in an area where these treasures live.

  18. Alan Friedman

    Hank, Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories. I studied botany at Humboldt State and a Japanese friend of mine introduced me to, what we knew then, as Armillaria ponderosa. We collected them in the dunes where they grew with association with beach pine. My friend would always package them lovingly and ship some to his grandparents. I’ve been living in the midwest for over 25 years and never seen them here.

  19. Sharon Vasquez

    Yesterday, I tried to make it with my new fuzzy rice cooker and it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing this with us

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