Japanese Whisky Mushrooms
Rehydrated shiitake and porcini are seared in hot butter then ignited with a shot of Japanese whisky. Delicious. Feel free to skip the fiery part of the recipe, but it’s fun if you’re up for it! Please see notes first. This is perfect as a side dish or piled onto Doenjang Risotto with some Pan-Seared Soy Maple Radicchio.
1 oz dried porcini, rinsed under cold running water
2 oz dried shiitake, rinsed under cold running water
3 C hot water
4 T unsalted butter (use plant-based to make it veggie; adjust salt accordingly)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 to 2 oz Japanese whisky (I used Suntory Toki)
- Soak rinsed mushrooms in 3 C hot water for 30 minutes, covered. Remove mushrooms, squeezing excess liquid back into the container. Place squeezed mushrooms in colander and rinse again under running water to remove any debris. Squeeze well to remove excess water. Strain mushroom liquid, reserving liquid and discarding solids. Use reserved liquid in Doenjang Risotto or add to stocks or soups.
- Remove stems from rehydrated shiitakes and either compost or reserve stems for another use. Chop mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat large stainless-lidded, stainless steel skillet or sauté pan on high heat. Add butter. When melted, carefully add chopped mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes. Mushrooms should be golden brown all over.
- Add minced garlic and stir 1 minute.
- IF YOU’RE INTO LIGHTING YOUR FOOD ON FIRE: ***Remove pan from heat.*** Measure 2 oz whisky into a cup or jigger. With cup in one hand and a utility lighter in the other, pour whisky into pan and then immediately, carefully, ignite. When flames subside, stir for a minute.
NO THANKS, I’LL SKIP THE FLAMES: ***Reduce heat to medium.*** Measure 1.5 oz whisky into a cup or jigger and carefully add to pan. Stir for a minute to allow alcohol to evaporate. Remove from heat.
- Add a few grinds of black pepper, load into a serving dish, sprinkle with finishing salt and chopped parsley.
- Safety first, always: No loose hair or clothing; be sure there is adequate clearance above and around the stove; no alcohol near the stove (keep the bottle far away from the range); always pour your flambé liquor from a cup, jigger or other container, never right from the bottle; use a stainless pan, never nonstick; keep a tight-fitting stainless lid and a B type extinguisher handy in case something goes sideways and you need to put it out quickly. Standard stuff but worth mentioning. This particular recipe is a super low-risk flambé and the small amount of alcohol doesn’t burn for long, but practicing good habits is crucial whether you’re burning a cup of rum or an ounce of whisky.