Maitake is my favorite mushroom. I’ve never seen them during my childhood. Maitake was a very rare and expensive mushroom before, but now you can see it in many of the markets here in Japan for a reasonable price because now they can be cultivated. Wild Maitake mushrooms are rare and very expensive although I’ve never seen them growing naturally.
Maitake is written 舞茸 in Japanese. The first kanji means “dancing” and the second kanji means “mushroom”. There are two different theories to the naming. Since Maitake is rare and delicious, a person who finds it starts to dance because it’s a happy event. Another theory is the top layers of the Maitake mushroom look like they’re dancing.
The Nutritional Value
Maitake mushrooms are rich in vitamins B, D, Zinc, and Potassium. It’s said that maitake mushrooms can help prevent cancer.
When you preserve maitake mushrooms in the refrigerator, keep maitake mushrooms in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container to prevent moisture. It should last for three to four days.
Maitake can also be kept in the freezer. Keep bite-size pieces of Maitake mushrooms in a zip-lock freezer storage bag. You don’t need to defrost them. Frozen maitake mushrooms can be used to cook.
How to cook
The texture of the maitake is kind of crisp and it can be snapped easily. You don’t need a knife to prepare maitake. Just tear it into bite-size pieces.
Maitake causes other ingredients to be discolored. When you cook maitake with other ingredients pre-boil it beforehand.
Maitake is used for soup, salad, stir-fried and deep-fried dishes, as well as many others. Tempra is the best Maitake dish for me. You don’t need to pre-boil it when you cook Tempra.
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