Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Photo: Danny Kim. Illustration by John Burgoyne.

Hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (a.k.a. maitakes) are as prized for their deep, nutty flavor as they are for their ornate, plumed appearance. (One wouldn’t look out of place atop Lady Gaga’s head.) Though recent rains have thinned this season’s Greenmarket crop, maitakes are available at Union Square’s John D. Madura Farm stand. The Hurricane Club’s Craig Koketsu favors these voluminous fungi for this easy yet dramatic side dish.

Craig Koketsu’s Soy-Kalamansi Mushrooms

1 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs. garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs. shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp. thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 tbs. rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup kalamansi purée (at Kalustyan’s)
2 tbs. honey
1 large hen-of-the-woods mushroom
2 sheets parchment paper
Butcher’s twine

Preheat oven to 375. Warm the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and herbs, and sweat for approximately 3 minutes. (1) Stir in the soy, kalamansi, and honey. Remove from flame, and set aside. (2) Separate mushroom into large pieces. (3) Place mushroom pieces into a mixing bowl, pour soy-kalamansi mixture over them, and mix until they are well coated. Place in refrigerator until butter is slightly congealed, about 10 minutes. Remove from refrigerator. Divide mushroom pieces in half, and place each half onto the center of a sheet of parchment paper, making sure to include all of the soy-kalamansi from the bowl. Fold up the paper so the corners meet, then tie with twine, making sure to seal completely. Place both pouches onto a baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until liquid is bubbling in the pouch. Transfer pouches from the baking sheet to serving plates, and cut the top of the paper below the twine knot at the table. Serves 2.

Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms