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(Scientific Name: Pholiota nameko
) A brown capped mushroom with a white stem that grows in groups of clusters of numerous stems and caps closely aligned. Very popular in Asia where it originated, this mushroom is now cultivated thoroughout the world. Shiny orange in color, the cap of the Nameko develops a slimy gel coating that is desirable to some consuming this mushroom, but may be undesirable to others. As the mushroom is cooked, it blends in with some foods, but if sautéed, the Nameko becomes somewhat slippery-textured and sticky, which may not be appealing for various food combinations. Fresh Nameko mushrooms are available October to February while the canned Nameko mushrooms can be found in Asian food stores throughout the year.
When selecting fresh mushrooms, choose those that have shiny, fresh looking caps and avoid any that have shriveled stems. Fresh Nameko mushrooms are best when cooked and eaten as soon as possible after purchasing. They can be stored for two or three days if wrapped loosely in plastic and kept in the refrigerator.
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