Mushrooms in a Beef Sukiyaki Blanket - a Japanese-inspired Recipe
A Japanese Finger Food Recipe
We've all heard of pigs in a blanket. But have you heard of "mushrooms in a blanket"? Just imagine - finely chopped tender and juicy shiitake mushrooms wrapped in a thin beef sukiyaki, sauteed, then topped with green onions. On the side - a delicious Japanese soy sauce and radish dipping sauce. All the ingredients on their own have a distinctive taste. When cooked together, they hold their personalities, but also create a harmonized treat! :)
The name of this recipe is just something I conjured, but the dish itself is inspired by something I ate at a Japanese restaurant some few months ago. This is the perfect thing to have as an appetizer but it can actually serve as an entree as well, given its ingredients. Consider serving this especially for the month of April as we all celebrate Mushroom day on April 16!
What's your Shroom?
The mushroom family is a big one with extended cousins and aunts twice removed. The Japanese cuisine focuses on a small subset of those but if you had the power to decide - Which mushroom tickles your palate the most?
My pick? I'd narrow down to three - shiitake (why else would I make a recipe featuring them?), portabello (the steak of all mushrooms!), and Matsutake. The first time I tried matsutake was inside a soup - dobin mushi. Imagine a broth infused with a generous amount of matsutake mushrooms. The soup was served inside a teapot. Each small teacup shot of soup was divine!
What is your favorite mushroom?
Prep Time: 45 minutes
- 5 Shiitake Mushrooms
- finely chopped
- 20 beef sukiyaki strips
- Daikon radish (small one would do)
- 1/2 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
- 3 stalks of green onions
- 1 Tbsp oil (canola
- or corn)
Step 1. Prep your Mushrooms
Chop up your mushrooms very finely. You will need around 1 teaspoon of chopped mushrooms per beef sukiyaki strip so base your amount of mushrooms from there. Once they're chopped, heat up your pan with a bit of oil (canola, sunflower, or corn oil works best; I generally don't use olive oil for Asian recipes) then once the pan is hot, put in your chopped mushrooms and stir them around till they get tender.
Get your Dried mushrooms!
I use dried mushrooms for the recipe. All you need to do is soak them in some warm water for a bit. They really bring out a lot of flavor and oomph to the dish!
Step 2. I like to roll it, roll it
Time for the fun (but slightly tedious) part! Get a big plate (or a big tray would be even better!) Place your sukiyaki strips one by one. Then scoop up around a teaspoon of the sauteed mushroom goodness and lay it out in a nice thin column on the center of the strip.
Then, start rolling!
Step 3. Fry the blankets up!
Heat some oil in a wok then carefully place the rolls to shallow fry them. Don't fry too many at the same time so they have some space in the pan to cook.
Step 4. Whip up the sauce!
I love sauces and this Japanese dipping sauce ranks high in my list of favorites. Just get some kikkoman (no other brand would do, you have to use Kikkoman soy sauce because it has a very unique Japanese flavor). Then grate the radish finely over the kikkoman. Heat up a small saucepan and cook it a bit (just a minute or so) so the radish doesn't taste too raw.
Optional: You may also add a dash of vinegar if you would like a tart flavor
Step 5. Plate 'em up!
This is my favorite step. I love how everything comes together. I love even more the fact that I finally get to eat these blankets of delicious goodness! Ideally, plate up three or five of them on a plate (did you know that four isn't exactly a good number for the Japanese and Chinese? The word for four sounds like death). Pour some of the sauce over the blankets. Top with chopped green onions.
DIG IN! And enjoy! As the Japanese say, "Itadakimasu!"
Japanese Essentials - Ingredients and Recipe Books
Kikkoman soy sauce is KEY to making the delicious sauce to really bring out all the flavors of your mushroom in a beef blanket
Raring to try out more Japanese dishes? How about having this handy book with you? I hope to own this book real soon - it covers all the main types of Japanese dishes - from steamed delicacies to sashimi to pickled vegetables to nabemono to sweets!
I always use a wok for stir-fries. They're very easy to use and hold a lot. Lessens the chances of ingredients jumping out of the pan, something clumsy old me is prone to doing.
Dried or Fresh Mushrooms?
Many people, in general, think that fresh is always best. With good reason too - of course we love the idea of eating something that's been newly harvested. In the case of mushrooms, however, dried ones also have some good qualities - for instance, the flavor of the mushroom becomes more intense. In my recipe, I used dried shiitake mushrooms purely because they were more available at the time I purchased them.
What is your take on this delicious debate?
Which one's better? Dried mushrooms or fresh mushrooms?