Small Bites – An Exercise Concerning Fungus

When I’m scrolling through various social media platforms, I am constantly saving recipes. Most of the time they’re recipes that I’ll rip the bones from to inspire something that caters more to the palates of House Pines.

And then there are the recipes that catch your eye that you have no intention of making. The kind of dish you’d totally overpay for at some twee hipster fusion joint. Enter…

It’s not so much that the recipe for this dish is particularly daunting—perhaps finding some of the ingredients might be a bit tricky, but I live in an agricultural farm town and was able to find most of what I needed. My biggest gripe is that I don’t particularly enjoy frying at home because of the mess.

But since I find myself flush with time, responsibly sheltering in place during this global pandemic, I figured… let’s give this a try. I absolutely adore enoki mushrooms as well. They are the most important item for this dish that I can’t get my hands on at the Big Grocer or my ME/EA Market or the Farm Stand. But it’s a quick drive to my favorite Butcher’s Spot (it’s also a small Asian Market) to grab the enoki. Problem solved.

You can check out the recipe here—there’s even a great video to give you a visual concept of what you’ll need to do.

Here is what the recipe photo looks like (without any superimposed text).

And here are the plates I made!

I think they look grand for my first attempt. The real disappointment came from the total lack of flavor to the mushrooms; even slightly-over fried they had been marinating much longer than the recipe called for and were still basically flavorless. All in all, I would consider working on this recipe if I was planning a dinner and wanted some wow-factor. But as the mushrooms were basically a vehicle for the sauce/aioli, I wouldn’t consider this a must-recreate any time soon.

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