Not everyone has heard of a variety of mushrooms called enoki, but it’s catching on and for good reason. Used extensively in Asian cuisine, enoki mushroom has a long, delicate, almost white or pale gold stem with a small capped tip and looks very similar to a fresh noodle. These mushrooms are available in bunches in Asian grocery stores or supermarkets that carry exotic and ethnic foods in their produce section. Touted for many health benefits, these mushrooms have a crunch and a bite to them that makes them scrumptious in several dishes.
Let’s Talk Benefits of Enoki Mushroom
Most commonly cultivated in Japan, Korea and other parts of Southeast Asia, the enoki mushroom is part of the cuisines of those countries. They have also been used in alternative medicine in Asia for ailments affecting the liver and intestines.
A few years ago, in 2017, as reported in The Huffington Post, Nagano, Japan, was found to have extremely low cancer rates compared to other regions even in Japan. Most significantly, this fact was found in a small cluster of the population where enoki mushroom was cultivated and abundantly consumed by growers. Following this discovery, further research was conducted and it was found that these mushrooms contained two compounds unique to them: proflamin and flammulin. Proflamin, in particular, showed properties that substantially increase cancer-fighting ability. Further research yielded even more promising results making enoki mushroom a very desirable addition to immunity-fortifying diets. Anti-oxidant rich, the mushrooms are a rich source of ergothioneine.
Nutritionally, these mushrooms provide high levels of phosphorus and potassium. selenium, calcium, iron, and fiber.
Flavor for Your Meals with Enoki
One of the finest and mildest fungi, these mushrooms can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, not just Asian. A variety of cooking methods can be used to prepare these wonderful mushrooms: blanching, sautéing, baking, frying, or they may be eaten raw in salads. First, they need to be washed, dried and the tough ends trimmed before adding them to your favorite dishes. They complement virtually any meat, seafood or vegetables. Roll them into spring rolls; add a dollop of melted butter, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs to blanched enoki as an accompaniment to fish; chop and mix them into rice dishes, sushi, or use them whole with green beans and sliced vegetables. Try them with olive oil, garlic, and Italian herbs, or use them as a noodle substitute in a favorite chicken-noodle soup and you won’t be disappointed. In fact, they are superb as noodles in a low-fat, low-carb diet. Use your imagination to create seasonings and sauces and you will find they blend well into almost anything, including omelets.
The Last Word
When something tastes this good and you know it is wholesome, healthy and very nutritious, it is easy to make it a staple on your table. Pick up a bunch on your next trip to a major supermarket or Asian grocery store and give it a whirl in the pan!