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Dec 23, 2012

King Oyster Mushroom

King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops” with Truffled Sunchoke Puree and Lemon Herb Sauce 

 I am still making goodies from my trip to Kam Sen market the other day. I mentioned that I had gotten some killer produce on the cheap, among them a bag of sunchokes and a package of irresistibly cute king oyster mushrooms.


I mean, look at this pic of the mushrooms—aren’t they the cutest things ever??? I don’t know, I sort of can’t deal. Adorable.

The first time I ever had sunchokes was in a puree on top of which sat the most perfectly seared scallops. Mmmmm. King Oyster mushrooms have a meaty, rubbery texture and closely resembles a scallop when the stem is thickly sliced and seared on both sides. It seemed obvious that I should make king oyster mushroom “scallops” with a sunchoke puree.

Fun Fact: After I peeled and simmered my sunchokes, I noticed that the water had turned a really cool aqua shade, which was interesting since the sunchokes themselves are a light beige underneath the skin. I have absolutely no idea what made the water take on a marine hue, so if anyone knows, please leave me a comment.

King Oyster mushrooms are actually served like mock scallops quite often, because they look scallops when seared and because people say they have a texture that mimics scallops. I agree that they do have a texture that mimics a scallop, but, an overcooked scallop. Do not cook this expecting to get the tenderness of a perfectly cooked scallop.  While, I think, the mushrooms have a satisfying meaty and rubbery bite, this is the exact texture of a scallop that has been scorched.

[caption id="attachment_224" align="alignright" width="5184"] King Oyster Mushroom "Scallops" pre-lemon herb sauce[/caption]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_233" align="alignright" width="5184"] Voila![/caption]

I really, really liked this dish a lot and I think the lemon and fresh, bright tarragon notes at the end really gave it a clean, seafood inspired quality.  I was also really feeling the black truffle butter and parmesan cheese in the sunchoke puree which without the addition of the two was very sweet and one-note. All in all, this is a quick, easy and elegant dish that you could easily throw together for a weeknight meal (provided you have access to the ingredients! Those sunchokes can be hard to find in certain regions.)

 

King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops” with Lemon Herb Sauce

Ingredients

  • 12 pieces of king oyster mushroom cut ¾”
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon minced tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon thyme

Method

Season each side of the mushroom pieces with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in skillet. When skillet is very hot, add mushrooms and sear two minutes on each side. Remove mushrooms from skillet and throw away excess butter and wipe out skillet.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet, add lemon juice and tarragon and season with salt to taste. Drizzle over mushrooms and serve immediately.

 

Truffled Sunchoke Puree

Ingredients

½ pound sunchokes, peeled

1/3 cup half and half

1 tablespoon black truffle butter

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

 

Method

Simmer sunchokes until tender, about 12 minutes. Cut sunchokes into smaller chunks and blend with half and half till smooth.

Transfer puree to pan and simmer for two to three minutes. Remove from heat and fold in butter and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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