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end of summer activities

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 hand rolls

Cut rolls are nice and all, but hand rolls are where it’s at for the home cook. Hand rolls 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 hand roll 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 Hand Roll
[print recipe]

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
tempura batter
cooking oil for frying
several sheets of nori (toasted seaweed), cut in half
masago (flying fish roe)
avocado, sliced
anago (bbq eel) sauce

tempura batter
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 hand rolls: 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 hand rolls.

16 nibbles at “end of summer activities”

  1. Denise-EPL says:

    Hello, you are amazing. I mean I knew that, but I need to tell you AGAIN and AGAIN!

  2. Val says:

    I am with Denise! I just forwarded this to my husband. I CANNOT wait to try this one out. You are the Food Master. I bow down to you. I mean seriously, how DO you continue to top your previous post? Just added Porcinis to my weekly shopping list. Thank you for being such an inspired cook!

    (BTW, you are on our site as of an hour ago…THANK YOU!)

  3. Memoria says:

    ” in graduate school because we were always looking to diversify our suffering.” LOL! I can so identify with that statement. Love it! Great photos as usual.

  4. Kristin says:

    Oh my…this looks soooo good! Congrats on a 10 mile trail run…wow!

  5. chipippa says:

    It’s unagi sauce, not anago.

  6. Eileen says:

    OH MY. I may have to overcome my fear of making sushi at home to try some of these!

  7. Sophie says:

    Amazing trail run! I’ve run 10 miles at once… never. but I still will someday! :) These are stunningly beautiful and very tempting. You make hand rolls look so easy! I’ve always made cut rolls at home — I need to try this. Immediately. Can’t get over those beautiful porcini!!

  8. Lily says:

    LOVE this. I am a huge fan of shimeji tempura lightly dipped in matcha salt (as opposed to the usual dipping sauce). Never thought to try it in maki though. I must try this now!

  9. Margie says:

    I learn so much from you…anago, masago, enoki…

    P.S. I have Smell-O-Vision. This post has blown the meter. ;)

  10. Charlotte says:

    Just made Green Chile Stew with those Hatch green chiles from WFM!
    Three fourteeners – awesome!
    I’ve made two attempts but only made it to the top of Mt Democrat
    I miss the mountains. We live in Portland now but Oregon is also beautiful.

  11. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This looks so freaking fabulous!

  12. Joy says:

    That is a great idea. I never thought of using mushrooms.

  13. Sherry says:

    I just saw an ad for hatch chiles at the local grocery stores and it got me thinking. I wouldn’t even know about them if it wasn’t for you and now I’m thinking about buy and trying them just to see what is so awesome. It’s just me so I won’t be buying pounds and pounds of it to store for the winter but even though it’s only me, I wonder if I’m not going to regret that decision later in the year… :\

  14. Ala says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s ridiculously difficult trying to find affordable vegetarian sushi, and I’m an enormous fan of veggie tempura, so this will make a perfect at-home alternative. I’m so excited to get my wok fired up!

  15. jenyu says:

    Denise – you crazy girl ;) I love you!!

    Val – thanks! xo

    Memoria – thank you.

    Kristin – more like ow ;)

    chipippa – okay, whatevs.

    Eileen – oh honey, once you figure out how to make sushi at home, you’ll be doing the happy dance.

    Sophie – the porcini are gorgeous, but you can do this with almost any mushroom!

    Lily – oh, that sounds awesome. I’ve never had matcha salt before.

    Margie – ;)

    Charlotte – I love green chile stew! The fact that you made the summit of a fourteener at all is sweet!

    Katrina – xo

    Joy – sooo good!

    Sherry – I think you might regret it!

    Ala – try asparagus too. I love that.

  16. Sadao says:

    Porcini mushroom is something I have yet to try. It’s not readily available in the local supermarket. I’m on a mission to find one now.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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