Sunday, October 17, 2010

Soy Pickled Shitakes

I will admit that I stole these from David Chang’s Momofuko cookbook (which is an incredible book and well worth buying). But they are so incredibly good and packed with flavor that everyone should know about them. These have become a staple for me and can be used in a variety of ways. I use them in soups, stir fires, as a topping for noodles or even as a stuffing for steamed buns. This recipe makes about a quart and they keep for weeks (maybe more) in the fridge. They take about an hour and a half to make, so you might need to plan ahead. But once you have a batch in the fridge, you can combine them with other staples like noodles, sesame seeds, and green onions for a quick dinner.
Soy Pickled Shitakes
About 1 quart
2 oz. dried shitake mushrooms
1 cup brown sugar (or use an less processed sugar like Turbinado)
1 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
2-3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into coin sized slices
1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes until soft. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze them out a little bit, and cut them into slices about ¼ to ½ inch wide. Remove the stems if they’re tough. Reserve two cups of the soaking liquid (be sure to strain it carefully since you may end up with dirt and debris at the bottom of the soaking bowl).
2. Add the remaining ingredients to a pot and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.
3. Add the mushrooms to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil turn it down to a very low simmer.
4. Simmer for 40-45 minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool in the liquid. I normally remove the ginger but you can leave it in if removing it seems too difficult.
5. When cool, transfer the mushrooms and pickling liquid to a quart canning jar or other container and place them in the fridge.

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