Recipe: porcini mushroom tempura sushi handroll
To summarize my weekend: my feet hurt. But it’s the good kind of hurt! We hiked three fourteeners (it’s what Coloradoans do for fun – summit 14,000+ ft. mountains): Mounts Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln. It started out well enough, but as the morning progressed the winds got crazy insane and wildfire smoke from I-don’t-know-where hung in the air like a bad smog day in Southern California.
hello pika, you’re so cute you are
first summit of the morning: mount democrat
third summit of the morning: mount lincoln
mounts cameron (far left) and democrat (left of center) in hazy conditions
On the way home from the trailhead, we swung by the store to get more green chiles for roasting. MOAR!!! It used to be that we relied on the kindness of my in-laws who live in Southern Colorado or my aunt who lives in New Mexico to grace us with a few bags of frozen roasted green chiles at the end of summer. But fresh Hatch green chiles began to arrive in our local markets a couple of years ago every August and I’ve been hoarding them ever since. The Boulder Whole Foods has in-house roasted chiles ready to go, but I rather like the idea of roasting my own. It’s fun and it smells like the end of summer. Those of you who know that smell of roasting green chiles – you know what I mean…
covet thy green chiles
roasting on the grill – our neighborhood smelled fantastic
the ever hopeful kaweah is just hanging out because she associates the grill with steak
On Sunday morning, the air seemed to finally be clearing of that nasty, smokey haze. So we went for a trail run. I am not a runner. I don’t really enjoy running. The longest run I’ve ever done is 10 miles and that was in graduate school because we were always looking to diversify our suffering. Trail runs are different. I don’t love them, but I do enjoy them. I managed just over 10 miles, which I haven’t done in twelve years! It seemed like a good end-of-summer thing to do for, you know… getting ready for ski season. This, this is why my feet hurt.
Something else that has come to an end for me is my porcini foraging for the year. I think there are still some out there, but I unwittingly booked up my schedule and that’s that. Last Thursday, Wendy and I set off in the dark at 5:30 am for our final day of foraging together this season (she will, no doubt, continue to scour the mountains until the end of August). In the car, we tossed ideas back and forth on different ways to enjoy fresh porcinis. I had a small bag of bouchons to finish up before leaving town, so I welcomed this brainstorm session.
let’s make sushi: anago sauce, sushi rice, avocado, masago (flying fish roe), porcinis, nori
mixing ice water and egg for tempura batter
I’ve often stated how much I loathe frying, and yet here I was – in summer no less – frying mushroom tempura. I think it was the calorie deficit from the weekend’s activities. I’ve had mushroom tempura before in sushi bars. It’s wonderful stuff. I just wasn’t sure how the porcinis would go over in sushi. Fresh porcinis have such a subtle flavor that it would be a crime to overshadow them with stronger competing flavors.
stirring the dry mix into the wet mix for the tempura
dipping sliced porcini
The frying will work better if you keep the mushrooms dry. That is, when cleaning them, use a mushroom brush – don’t wash them or wipe them with a damp cloth. I sliced my mushrooms to 1/4-inch thickness and dipped them in the batter then plunked them into the oil. I don’t know about you, but I have a heck of a time keeping my oil at a constant temperature. It helps tremendously to slap a thermometer (candy thermometer is what I use) onto the side of the pan to monitor your temperature. I let the mushrooms fry for about 3 minutes a side or until a light golden color, before draining them on a cooling rack. At this point, you could enjoy the mushroom tempura as is with some tempura dipping sauce. But we took it a step further.
draining the mushroom tempura
ready to assemble some handrolls
Cut rolls are nice and all, but handrolls are where it’s at for the home cook. Handrolls are easy to assemble, less messy, fun to eat and MAJOR BONUS: are shaped like ice cream cones. You can customize each one too, so it works for an assortment of tastes. I typically layer 3 tablespoons of seasoned sushi rice on a half sheet of nori (toasted seaweed) as shown in the photo below. Then add your fillings, wrap and eat. So easy. So good.
nori, rice, masago
avocado, porcini mushroom tempura, and anago sauce
Okay, first let me state that pretty much anything tempura fried and wrapped in a sushi handroll is already awesome in my book. The fact that it is fresh porcini mushrooms takes this to a whole new world of whoa (whoa, not woe). It’s excellent. I normally douse everything with a thick wasabi paste (would you like a little soy sauce with your wasabi?), but I left this one lightly seasoned with just a drizzle of anago sauce. Of course, if you don’t have access to fresh porcinis, then use another mushroom like shitake or enoki. Perfection.
super delicious awesome whoa
Porcini Mushroom Tempura Sushi Handroll
3-4 cups cooked, seasoned sushi rice (the recipe I use)
8 oz. fresh porcini mushrooms (or shitake or enoki), sliced 1/4-inch thick
cooking oil for frying
several sheets of nori (toasted seaweed), cut in half
masago (flying fish roe)
anago (bbq eel) sauce
1 cup ice cold water
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
Make the tempura batter: Mix the cold water and egg together in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking soda together. Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients until mixed. Lumps are okay.
Tempura fry the mushrooms: Heat 2-inches of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan to 350°F. Dip each mushroom slice into the tempura batter, submerging it completely, then gently drop it into the hot oil. Let fry about 3 minutes on each side until the batter turns a light golden color. Remove from oil and let drain on a cooling rack. Repeat for all of the mushroom slices.
Make the handrolls: Hold a half sheet of nori in your hand. Spread about 3 tablespoons of seasoned sushi rice from the top left corner of the sheet diagonally down to where the opposite corner would be if it were square. Layer some masago, then add avocado, then put a few mushroom tempura on top. If the mushrooms are large, then slice them in half lengthwise. Drizzle some anago sauce over the mushrooms. Starting with the bottom left corner, begin wrapping the seaweed around the fillings along a diagonal line perpendicular to the line you laid the rice on. Keep wrapping until you have a cone. Seal the corner to the cone with a piece of smooshed sushi rice. Makes at least a dozen handrolls.