grilled shiitake with some umami

Umami- it’s one of those words that tends to get thrown about on menu’s.  This one I am ok with.  

Don’t get me started on things like ‘hand cut chips’ or ‘fresh salad’ or ‘deconstructed’…. Umami I understand- it’s the fifth flavour after sweet, sour, salty and bitter.  We don’t have an English equivalent of the word but essentially umami is a ‘savoury’ flavour- and I love it! Salt added to some proteins, fish sauce, Parmesan, mushrooms and so many more exhibit an ‘umami’ flavour.

Pinned to my Pinterest board for a while I had Peter Gilmore’s (think Quay and the famous snow egg- Sydney) grilled shiitake mushrooms with umami butter.  This week I decided it was happening.

Super simple recipe– grilled shiitake mushrooms topped with an umami butter.  This butter is filled with glorious things. You start with softened butter and mix in some dried shiitake and dried seaweed that have been blitzed in a spice grinder, toasted sesame seeds, white miso, lemon rind and fish sauce- mmmmmm UMAMI!

Firstly- don’t get distracted by Netflix and forget about the sesame seeds in the oven otherwise you end up with this…


That’s a little tooooo toasty- I gave it a second go and actually paid attention the second time.  Dump all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together and you end up with this delightful combination…


It’s not pretty I’ll grant you that but it’s really really tasty.

Next- take the stems off the mushrooms- on shiitakes they aren’t that lovely (when grilled) so slice them off and then coat with olive oil and salt..

Then it’s time to grill them- the recipe used a wood/coal bbq but I just used my cast iron grill pan over the gas- suitable alternative in my opinion.


I then topped these with the butter and put the in a low oven while I got together the rest of dinner.


Once they are warm the beautiful butter just melts into the mushrooms…


These were really good- I served them alongside a nice steak, baby spinach salad and a nice sourdough- these will be a make again and I think that this butter would go really nicely along with other veggies or even fish or chicken.

Give it a go- may sound strange ingredient wise but the flavour makes up for it.

Umami!

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