Pasta with Eringi and Bacon

Eringi is my most recent discovery in the mushroom world. I saw it for the first time about a year ago and it was a love at first bite! I buy it every time it appears, which means quite often and more or less all year, since my eringi is not picked wild, but imported from Korean indoors farms.

Eringi (エリンギ, king trumpet, king oyster, saesongi 새송이, in Latin Pleurotus eryngii) grows in many parts of the world, but is practically unknown in Europe and particularly appreciated in China, Japan and Korea. Click here to see a program about a Korean saesongi farm.

When raw, eringi doesn’t have any smell or taste but stir-fried or grilled, it develops a subtle, inimitable aroma and the famous “umami” (うま味) or 5th primary taste. It has an elegant, delicate flavour and a meaty texture. Until yesterday my favourite and the only way to prepare it was simple grilling or pan-frying and serving it with teriyaki sauce.

Yesterday I decided to combine eringi with Italian pasta. Smoked bacon was a perfect link and a necessary addition for an avowed carnivore, and instead of hiding the delicate taste it brought out the “meaty” qualities of eringi. Since both parmesan and eringi are very representative of the umami taste, I have grated the parmesan on the top. The result was wonderful:  simple dish with a complex taste. In my opinion it was a very successful intercontinental fusion.

I thought this pasta didn’t require any sauce, but if you think it’s too dry, a splash of good quality olive oil would be sufficient.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2):

200 g pasta

300 g eringi (sliced lengthwise or cut in two, lengthwise)

100 g bacon cut into cubes


black pepper

Cut the eringi in two (lenghtwise) and grill them or pan-fry in a small amount of oil.

In the meantime fry the bacon.

Put both aside in a warm place.

Cook the pasta.

Drain it and combine with the mushrooms and the bacon.

Just before serving grate some parmesan over the pasta and grind some black pepper.

12 Replies to “Pasta with Eringi and Bacon”

  1. Awesome recipe, just few ingredients. Bacon and mushroom is a great match. One of the best mushroom dishes I ever had was in a Chinese restaurant in Kyrgyzstan. The menu was poorly translated into english and it said ‘mushroom in dough’. It was battered deep fried thin slices of oyster mushroom I think. Looked and tasted very similar to calamari rings.

    1. Thank you! You have probably eaten the “standard” oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) which is popular in many European countries (I can buy it almost all year round either produced in Switzerland or for example imported from Poland and other European countries). My mum used to fry it in breadcrumbs (a bit like tonkatsu 🙂 ) and it was very good, tasting a bit like calamars too. On the other hand, my mum also used to fry this way the parasol mushroom (Macrolepiota procera) and the taste was also a bit like calamars… However the eringi’s taste is really a big level upwards. It has a very sophisticated taste, more complex than the oyster mushroom’s. Buy it or order it if you see it somewhere one day! You seem to have travelled to very interesting countries!

  2. Sounds good..My hubby would absolutely love it..though as always, will have to find a substitute for the bacon…

    I love the fact that so much thought goes into your recipes…I am learning about the ‘umani’ flavour and how what foods work well for specific body types based on Ayurveda principles and it is quite exciting and very informative…

    1. Thank you so much Shilpa! It’s always such a pleasure to read your comments. I was thinking about you while posting this dish and thought it would be much easier to make it vegetarian than the chicken skewers: -) Actually this mushroom is so delicious and extraordinary, I could have it in pasta without bacon and the dish would be great too (and I am a real carnivore! so imagine how much I adore eringi!). If you have access to eringi, do try the dish without bacon. Simply mushroom and parmesan. This umami flavour is quite difficult to recognise for me. I read about the food products or dishes defined as highly umami, but if someone asked me about parmesan I would have never guessed it’s umami too. I think the taste recognition comes back to our childhood, so recognising bitter or salty taste is automatic. Umami isn’t. On the other hand I think I love everything I saw listed as umami and epecially miso… I have heard about Ayurveda principles, but have no idea what it is. It sounds very intriguing.
      Do let me know if you try this without bacon. (By the way, I plan the Marmite cake for this weekend!)

  3. Pasta, pasta, PASTA!!!!!!! I don’t get to cook pasta at home , because hubby doesn’t really eat non-Asian food from my kitchen, though this dish combines East with West, think I will have to cook it and see how he reacts…

    Have a great weekend Sissi!

    1. Thank you Jeno for this enthusiastic comment. Do let me know if you try it one day. I hope you both like it! Have a nice weekend too!

  4. Did you really make this yesterday? I made mushroom pasta too! Well mine is Japanese version…as I had a request to make Japanese-styled pasta (if you have ever tried)…. I was at a Japanese store debating Eringi, but you know how much it cost? It was close to like $5-6. I told myself… if I buy this I must be crazy so I skipped. I should try Korean store or even Chinese store next time. I love your pasta Sissi! And you are right about Umami! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nami! It’s funny we both thought of pasta and I made a crème brûlée last week and you crème caramel this week 🙂 And you talked about eringi lately in a Japanese store? It must be telepathy 😉
      I am a little ashamed to say, but eringi are more expensive here… (unless you pay 5 dollars for one mushroom of course! I pay about 16$ for a bit less than a pound, but then most good mushrooms are expensive here). When buy them I think they are like jewels, so I stopped looking at the price. I always consider them a special treat and I can’t pass by when I see them, whatever the price. We both love eringi.
      What do you mean by the Japanese styled pasta? Not ramen I guess… Not the stir-fried noodles… (I make those all the time). I am very curious!

  5. I have never cooked with eringi and I am not even sure whether I’ve tried it in my life, possibly in some Japanese or Chinese restaurants that I have visited. The mushrooms look slightly like shiitake. I can imagine that these mushrooms taste fantastic with pasta! I love eating simple pasta too from time to time, such as aglio olio. Thank you for giving me another pasta combo idea!

    1. In fact they don’t look like shiitake at all (the ones in the dish were sliced and cut into pieces). Have a look at the video I have put in the post or at my previous eringi post ( I think they have a very funny form: small hat and a big belly 😉
      I also like aglio & olio, especially if the oil is good.

  6. Hi There, This is looking Gorgeous. A very well made post with beautiful pictures. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Its always fun to see ur appetizing recipes.Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

    1. Thank you Sonia! Well, I still work on my pictures and frankly this dish was a complete mess 🙂 Have a great Sunday too!

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