Their findings reflect the patterns of morels that occurred after the 2012 Duck Lake fire in Michigan, USA and the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

These “morels at the burn site” are scientifically known as follows. MorelsAnd few chefs have specified to use this type of mushroom, but it’s currently on the menu in Central Hong Kong’s long book.

At the restaurant, which bears the name of chef Teruhiko Nagamoto, the menu changes frequently every season. A recent dish that is attracting attention for its transparency and the power to wrap the aroma and taste of spring and summer is Japanese beef sukiyaki with morels and egg yolk pickles.

“Morels are washed, soaked in water for 2 hours, then steamed and sliced,” says Nagamoto. “According to my recipe, Morel water is reserved for making sukiyaki sauce and contains Japanese soy sauce, mirin and red wine. After that, I cooked Amigasatake with this special sukiyaki sauce and in front of the guests. After lightly frying in, serve. “

Chef Teruhisa Nagamoto at his eponymous restaurant in Central, Hong Kong.Photo: Nagamoto

Chefs rarely choose ingredients from outside Japan on their menu. However, he has the exception of French fungi.

In Central’s Arcane, executive chef Shane Osborn is a small variety in southwestern France, known as the large, plump morel morels in Yunnan (Chinese “mushroom in the stomach of a lamb”) harvested in southwestern China. ), Vibrates between morels in France.

“The flavor is fleshy and goes very well with many ingredients,” explains Osborne. “Morels vary from region to region, but I feel that morels in France are some of the best because they are small, thick and have a deeper flavor.”

Currently, Osborne makes good use of morels, which are stuffed with tofu and simmered in a rich flavor. salt Serve kelp soup with stir-fried sea bass and green asparagus.

Shane Osborn, an Australian chef from Central Hong Kong's Arcane, offers morel from Turkiye, Yunnan, China, southwestern France.Photo: Edward Wong

Shane Osborn, an Australian chef from Central Hong Kong’s Arcane, offers morel from Turkiye, Yunnan, China, southwestern France.Photo: Edward Wong

These wild fungi are so coveted that two Danish biologists, Jacob and Kastenkirk, have had a lifelong mission to successfully grow morels indoors in climate-controlled conditions since 1977. And.

The Danish Morel Project succeeded in developing a reliable method in 2005 after more than 40 years of extensive research at the Royal Danish University of Veterinary Agriculture and the University of Copenhagen. This includes the development of artificial morel soils for a stable growth base. ..

Whether you are a home cook or a chef, the biggest advantage of grown morels is the fact that they are perfectly clean and free of the usual stains, gravel, bugs (and sometimes snail bites). .. However, it is arguable whether the taste matches their wild counterpart.

Kirk has at least one supporter. Danish chef Kenneth Toft Hansen used Kirks’ dried black morels on the main course of the 2015 Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France, “morels were of exceptional quality” and “cooking.” Later, the dish tasted as if it was made from fresh morels. “And there was little or no bitterness.

Toft Hansen finished sixth in the championship.

The “Morel” of the story is this: When it comes to fine fungi, whether wild or not, the most important thing is how to use them to maximize their potential flavor. Is it?

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