Eringi エリンギ (king trumpet, king oyster or saesongi) is my favourite Asian mushroom. I love its meaty texture, its delicate flavours and its incredible versatility. It is good in Thai and Indian curries, in Japanese chawan mushi (savoury egg custard) and okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), but it is equally delicious simply grilled and served with teriyaki sauce. This easy method showcases perfectly all the eringi’s qualities and I strongly advise it all those who plan to cook this mushroom for the first time.
Together with the more famous oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) eringi belongs to the Pleurotus genus, but there is no ressemblance between them ; actually king oyster mushroom is similar to a cute cep/penny bun/porcini but with a chubby stem and tiny cap. In the wild this mushroom grows together with the roots of Eryngium plants, hence the Latin name, but it is widely cultivated (even in Switzerland!). Even though it grows in the Middle East, Northern Africa and even Southern Europe, it is particularly appreciated in Asian countries, especially in China, Korea and Japan. Many people might hesitate before buying eringi for the first time: it doesn’t have any smell or taste when raw and it often costs more than the well-known “standard” oyster mushroom. However, once stir-fried or grilled, it develops a subtle, inimitable aroma and the famous “umami” (うま味) or 5th primary taste. Apart from the elegant and sophisticated flavour I also adore this mushroom for its meaty texture, which is always surprises my first-time eringi tasting guests.
I haven’t made any raw mushroom photographs, but if you want to see how it looks and how it grows, this program presents a Korean king oyster farm (I like the funny way they grow in pots) and shows the passion the Koreans have for this mushroom.
Here are some more eringi cooking ideas:
TIP: I don’t like very sweet teriyaki sauce, so mine is barely sweet (I sometimes use only sake and soy sauce, skipping even mirin). If you like a sweeter sauce, add more mirin and some sugar.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4):
400g eringi mushrooms
neutral tasting oil
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking sake)
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or 2 if using normal soy sauce)
6 tablespoons sake
Bring mirin and sake to boil, add the soy sauce. Heat until it thickens a bit, put aside, keeping it warm.
Clean the mushrooms if they are a bit dirty and cut them into slices (lengthwise or diagonally).
You can then cut them into bite-sized pieces like I did.
Heat some oil in a non-stick pan or brush hot grill with oil.
Grill the eringi or stir-fry until they are slightly browned (about 2 minutes on each side).
Put them on a warmed plate.
If you use a grill, bring the teriyaki to boil once more, let it thicken a bit and pour over the mushrooms.
If you use a non-stick pan, pour the teriyaki on it (don’t wash the pan after having take out the mushrooms) and let it caramelise for about 1 minute.
Pour the teriyaki over the mushrooms.