Japanese Matsutake Mushroom

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(Scientific Name: Tricholoma matsutake) A wild mushroom found in the pine forests of Japan growing with a broad stem and an umbrella cap that may grow to a size of 10 to 14 inches in diameter, but is more commonly harvested when it is 3 to 8 inches in width. Creamy white in color, this mushroom begins to yellow in color as it matures. Highly prized in Japan where it is added to numerous dishes, the Japanese Matsutake mushroom provides a somewhat peppery flavor with a sweet fragrance that is often described as fruity, spicy, and fresh smelling. It is similar in flavor to a King Oyster mushroom, so if necessary, one can be substituted for the other in various recipes.

When preparing, the stem and cap can be sliced for grilling, roasting or frying and can be served with wild game, hearty meats, soup, stews, vegetables, and stir-fried dishes. To store, place in a paper bag, refrigerate and consume within 10 days. If storing for longer periods of time, place the mushrooms in an airtight container either sliced or whole and freeze for use within a year. The Japanese Matsutake mushroom is often confused with the White Matsutake and although they are similar, they are different species. Other names associated with the Japanese Matsutake mushroom are White Pine, American Pine, and Armillaria Ponderosa.

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