We decided we needed to really make the most of the pint of fresh shiitake, and it ended up becoming two very simple East Asian-style meals, leaving very little to get in the way of the fungus.
Day 1: Shiitake Rice BowlThe other thing that's been a big influence on our cooking this week was the appearance in the mailbox of vol. 1 of Lucky Peach magazine, the inaugural issue of a gonzo gourmet magazine ring-led by Momofuku executor David Chang. The whole issue is nominally dedicated to ramen, and, to be sure, there's enough ramen-related content in there to fuel both a dissertation and a serious noodle-jones. It also takes time to wander off topic long enough to document a shared drunken rant on mediocrity between Chang, Anthony Bourdain and Wylie Dufresne, ruminate on the nature and relevance of authenticity in food, and dedicate the final quarter of the issue just to eggs.
The egg section not only describes several out-there egg recipes, but dedicates several pages just to examining about 12 different stages of boiled egg. This seemed to feed into our collective vision of a simple mushroom dish. Chang let slip that his preferred egg cooking time is 5 min. 10 sec., just enough to set the white and thicken the yolk slightly into a silky, unctuous texture. The dish was as simple as this: fresh shiitake sauteed with a little salt and a soft-boiled egg over rice, topped off with a lightly sweet shoyu broth and slivered scallion. That's all.
And really, that's all it needed.
- 1 c. fresh shiitake mushroom (or dried shiitake, soaked), sliced
- 1-2 tsp. neutral oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 c. cooked rice
- 1 scallion, sliced thin according to preference
- 2 eggs, boiled for 5 min, 10 sec, peeled
- 3/4 c warm water
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1 Tblsp. sugar
Shiitake Rice Bowlvegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free
Divide rice into two bowls and put half the mushrooms on top of each, along with one egg. Pour half the broth over each and top with a healthy pinch of scallion.