Songi Busuht Jjim (Wild Pine Mushrooms)
Fall is mushroom picking season! With the heavy rainfall followed by a couple of nice sunny days, we thought we would go mushroom picking. We got some wild songi from a couple who just came back from a trip to the high mountain which wasn’t disclosed (a secret place). Songi busuht (wild pine mushrooms) are very popular among 1st generation Asians (maybe the 2nd generation too, I just don’t know), mostly Koreans and the Japanese. I believe all the mushrooms are, but this mushroom is very good antioxidants.
I asked around my friends about how I can cook this precious gem. In the past, we just ate it by slicing thinly and spreading on top of the rice when the rice was almost done. Then I would mix with sauce made of soy sauce, sesame oil;, a simple sauce spread and mixed with rice and eat. It tastes best keeping the unique mushroom flavor intact. Since the wild Songi mushrooms are expensive (sew some selling at $29.99/lb), I didn’t usually buy a lot, but now I have enough, I thought I would try different songi busuht recipes. Here's a very simple preparation for the delicious mushrooms.
- wild pine mushrooms (songi busuht 송이버섯), also called matsutake mushrooms in Japanese
- salt (optional)
- sesame seed powder (optional)
- To best preserve the flavor, dust off the sands/dirt from the mushroom using a small brush and scrape off dark spots. Wipe with a dry paper towel. I didn't wash mine since I know they just picked it right off from the top of the mountain with no pollution, but if you want, just wash briefly and wipe off the moisture using a paper towel. If it’s a bigger mushroom with the caps opened up, there may be dirt between the cap gills; then you will need to wash off using your spray hose at your sink.
- Tear/slice the mushroom lengthwise into thin pieces in a single layer. Place in a pot, and turn the heat on low – don't add water. Cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes, or until it produces some moisture at the bottom and looks a bit blanched.
- Eat them plain, or dip with a mix of sea salt and sesame seed powder.
Serving Size: up to you
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Preparation Time: 10 minutes