la musique <–Bienvenue to my night.
After dropping off my chef’s knives at Courty & Fils in Paris’s Opera district, I soaked in the humid spotty sky, breathing in the crisp whispers, my feet crunching tiny leaves as I admired shopkeeper’s newly decorated storefronts. Paris really wears Fall well.
The neighborhood is home to a dense population of Japanese, Korean, and otherwise oriental restaurants, in addition to a store called “K Mart“, which (unlike the large chain store I grew up with) is one of Paris’s most centrally located Japanese (and Korean) supply stores. Yess.
My excitement found me with an indoors BBQ tonight, and the marinade is proportionately delicious in flavor. Earthy yet acidic, mildly sweet with subtle spice.
Eryrgii mushrooms are those big guys you will see in a restaurant sliced vertically and grilled or sautéed. They’re deliciously meaty, slightly fibrous in texture, and just the right taste of mushroom to balance out their decent water content. For those with Celiac Disease and strong gluten intolerences, ordering these might have never been an option for you, as marinades frequently involve soy sauce, which almost always contains wheat. What’s more, for Bubble Children with deadly nut allergies, walking into any sort of Asian establishment can turn from a family dinner night out to a quick trip the hospital with cross contamination. (Make sure you go somewhere you can trust if your allergies are really bad!)
Forget the restaurant. Brew some tea, turn on some Japanese tunes, and get cozy with some mushrooms.
1/4 tsp. wasabi paste
1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
2 tsp. sesame oil (can use neutral oil for seed allergies)
1/4 tsp. paprika for mild, or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper+to taste for spicy
1/8 tsp. orange zest (optional but delicious)
1 tsp. red wine, apple cider, or rice vinegar
3 large eryngii mushrooms (portabello or shitake would work, as well)
+a fish grilling device or some grill to keep them falling into the flames
+a braising or painting brush, clean and dry
1. Mix together wasabi and tamari until combined. Whisk in all other ingredients with a fork or small whisk until homogenous. Set aside. Slice mushrooms vertically into about 4 strips of about just under a cm thick. Paint each mushroom generously with marinade, flip over onto grilling device, then paint the other sides. The more generous you are with the marinade, the tastier these lovelies will be.
2. Either fire up a BBQ like a normal person, or light up your stovetop for flames.* Place the rack so that the mushrooms are getting licked by the flames gently, and cook them on one side (moving around if need be to avoid cooking one mushroom more than the other) for about 4 minutes, or until starting to color, flip, and repeat with the other side. Then, keep crisping them in this manner with the flames until they have just got nice grill marks and some decent coloration of dark brown around the outsides.
3. Remove from heat, serve with some potato starch vermicelli and thinly sliced sushi-grade salmon brushed with the same marinade for a delightful light feast.
*Should you have neither, you can cook them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on their coloration to know whether to cook longer or shorter). You simply won’t get the pretty marks and the same crisped effect on the outside.