Michelin Award winning Japanese chef Akira Oshimais author of Yamazato, Kaiseki Recipes: Secrets of the Japanese Cuisine. The book contains recipes from the kitchen of the Yamazato restaurant in Amsterdam. It is amongst our favourite cookbooks. The recipes can be very challenging and time consuming as is getting hold of the right ingredients. One of the recipes is for Takiawase, a mouth-watering combination of vegetables and fish. Every ingredient requires its own preparation and is simmered in its own dashi-based stock. The recipe of chef Oshima combines kabocha, eggplant, okra and shrimp. Indeed: four different kinds of homemade stock.
When shopping at Amazing Oriental we saw Garland Chrysanthemum, which made us think of another tasty dish, a combination of walnut sauce, chrysanthemum and shiitake called Shungiku Kurumiae. It’s actually two recipes, one for walnut sauce and one for chrysanthemum. The walnut sauce is a combination of roasted and blended walnuts, white miso, dashi, sake, light soy sauce and mirin (in that exact order). Very tasty with lots of umami and depth. It serves as a vinaigrette for the salad which is a combination of blanched and in dashi marinated chrysanthemum and grilled shiitake.
Yamazato, Kaiseki Recipes: Secrets of the Japanese Cuisine is available via the well-known channels, both in English and Dutch, second hand. The Dutch version is available via the webshop of the publisher for €34,50.
We prefer a glass of sake with our Shungiku Kurumiae, for instance a Junmai sake with fresh aromas and good acidity. The sake must be dry and well-balanced with a clean finish. You could enjoy a glass of white wine with the dish, provided it’s dry and mineral.
We made too much walnut sauce for the salad, so we stored what was left in the refrigerator. But we were out of garland chrysanthemum (we wanted to use the remainder for our Matsutake dish) so what to do? The next day we fried some excellent organic pork belly and served it with Brussels sprouts and walnut sauce. Lovely combination!
A very special mushroom, to say the least. Matsutake smells like a pine wood forest and its taste is intense and unique. It’s also expensive and rare. If you happen to find it, be sure to buy it.
Earlier we used Matsutake to make a soup and we combined it with spinach and ginger. In this recipe we combine Matsutake with Garland Chrysanthemum (Glebionis coronaria) also known as Tong Ho or Shungiku. It is a widely used vegetable in Japan, China, Vietnam and Korea. Its taste is delicate, a touch bitter and different (unless you’re familiar with chrysanthemum tea); one that goes very well with dashi, sesame seeds, mushrooms, mirin and soy sauce. If the vegetable is young, you can eat the stalks and the leaves. Also great as tempura. We use the leaves only for making a salad.
Wine and Sake pairing
We enjoyed a glass of Camino de Caza Almansa Sobre Lías Verdejo 2021. An organic white wine produced by Bodegas Piqueras and made with selected verdejo grapes from the Almansa region in Spain. It’s an aromatic, fresh wine with flavours that will make you think of yellow fruit (peach) and it has a welcome touch of bitterness. The combination of the intense Matsutake and the intriguing Chrysanthemum begs for a dry, white wine with character. You could also serve a glass of a cold, not too crispy sake, for instance a Taru Sake (a sake aged in barrels made of Japanese cedar).
What You Need
75 grams of Matsutake
200 grams of Garland Chrysanthemum
150 ml Dashi
3 teaspoons Light Soy Sauce
3 teaspoons Mirin
What You Do
Make 150 ml of dashi. Let cool. Add light soy sauce and mirin. Mix. Remove the stems of the Chrysanthemum. Wash the leaves in water. Add to a pan with boiling water and blanch for 45 seconds. Transfer the leaves to a basin with cold water. When the leaves are cold, gently remove the excess water and transfer to the dashi mixture. Leave in the refrigerator for one hour. Clean the matsutake. Take your time to do this. Remove the lower half of the stem. Slice the mushrooms, chop the stem. In a non-stick pan heat a little olive oil, just enough to gently fry the mushrooms. When ready, remove the leaves from the mixture, combine with the chopped mushroom, mix. Add the salad to a plate, decorate with the fried slices of matsutake and add a small drizzle of walnut oil.