A Nameko mushroom is a type of mushroom that has a bright orange cap and a very mild flavor. These mushrooms originate from Japan where they happen to be very popular and are exported to different parts of the world to satisfy consumer demand. Most Japanese restaurants serve dishes with nameko mushrooms, and are also a popular choice in most Japanese home cooking. A close substitute for the nameko mushrooms if you have a Japanese recipe that calls for using nameko mushrooms and you cannot find them readily is using shiitakes.
Mouthwatering Japanese Nameko Mushroom
As the nameko mushrooms are cooked, they assume a jellylike texture, something that surprises most consumers and home chefs trying a Japanese recipe with the nameko mushroom for the first time. This trait however makes the mushrooms perfectly suited for some stir fries as well as traditional Japanese soups. You can be able to find the freshest mushrooms in the months of October through to February. When selecting out nameko mushrooms in the market, ensure you go for mushrooms with shiny orange caps with an unsullied appearance with no serious discolorations or stains.
For the best Japanese cuisine, you might want to try and avoid nameko mushrooms that have cracked or pitted surfaces. After buying, you should clean them and wrap them in paper before storing them in the refrigerator for later use. They can generally stay for 3-4 days. Note also that you can be able to find canned nameko mushrooms all year round from Japan and other Asian countries, but they might not be able to give you the best results compared to their fresh counterparts.
A very common use of nameko mushrooms is in miso soup, a common ingredient in many Japanese recipes. As mentioned above, the mushrooms can also be used in Japanese stir fry recipes but be advised that they tend to turn sticky and slimy if cooked for a very long time. Some Japanese recipes also call for serving the mushrooms with rice with some bit of rice vinegar. In case you plan to experiment cooking these mushrooms in a fare from different regions other than Japan, you might want to seriously consider the texture of the mushrooms before adding to common dishes because the slimness doesn’t compliment all kinds of foods.