Red Chinese Mulberries
The Red Chinese mulberry tree is a broad, spreading bush or small tree dotted with small thorns. Like its mulberry relatives, the fruits are technically not a berries but rather aggregates of tiny fleshy drupes clustered around a single stem
Monterrey pears are a large variety from northern Mexico, botanically a cultivar of Pyrus pyrifolia. The Asian pear hybrid was selected from the tree of a popular southern Texas variety. Monterrey pears are a cross of European pear and a Japanese pear.
Shirakami Awabitake Mushrooms
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The Shirakami Awabitake mushroom is a large mushroom, its cap can be up to nearly four inches in diameter. Grown within a bottle its size is large because farmers only grow one mushroom in each bottle, thinning out the rest of mushrooms. It is beige-white in color and its shape is similar to the Abalone mushroom. It has a meaty, dense and crisp texture reminiscent of the aquatic shellfish, abalone. It offers a buttery flavor and velvety texture when cooked without any earthy mushroom smell.
Shirakami Awabitake mushrooms are available year-round.
The Shirakami Awabitake mushroom, also known as the Daiotake is a hybrid of the King Trumpet mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) and Chinese Abalone mushroom (Pleurotus nebrodensis) also known as Bai-Ling-Gu in Chinese. It is a member of Pleurotaceae family and is a relatively new mushroom on the Japanese market.
Shirakami Awabitake mushrooms are rich in the umami compound guanylate which is used often as dashi (soup stock) in Japanese cooking. In addition, they contain five times more dietary fiber than the King Trumpet mushroom.
Shirakami Awabitake mushrooms are versatile because of their size and meaty texture which works well as a substitute for other proteins. Pair with oil, butter, pork and foie gras. Use in vegetarian dishes, stir-fries, soups, stews, casserole, Japanese Nabe, tempura and Korean Bulgogi. For storing, put them in a paper bag and store in the refrigerator for one week.
The Shirakami Awabitake mushroom grows in broad-leaf trees and sawdust from Japanese cedars that come from the Shirakami mountain district in Akita prefecture and Aomori prefecture. Its namesake is from the Shirakami mountain district.
Kinokkusu Corporation is the inoculum manufacture in Miyazaki prefecture that developed Shirakami Awabitake mushrooms. The mushroom company, Mush Family in Akita prefecture are the only producers growing developed Shirakami Awabitake mushrooms in Japan since 2008. Since they are cultivated in an indoor controlled environment they can be produced year-round.
Recipes that include Shirakami Awabitake Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.
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