Pressed and grilled maitake clusters, dressed with olive oil and vinegar, are a contender for any main dish. This is not just something that goes with a more familiar main protein as a side— these mushrooms will compete with any steak, chicken or fish.
Whether farmed or wild, maitakes have so much flavor going on. They’re easy to cook and can take a crisping— in fact, they almost need a hard sear. Like anything that comes from the wild, they have lots of subtle nuance in flavor depending on where they were harvested.
SERVES 2 TO 4
1 pound maitake (hen-of- the-woods) mushroom clusters, either in a large single cluster or a bunch of smaller clusters
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the mushrooms
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoons ground sumac
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1. Drizzle the mushrooms with a little olive oil and grill over medium- high heat or cook in a skillet on the stovetop. (Cooking mushrooms over a hardwood fire is never a bad idea as the smoky, woody flavor matches nicely with their earthy qualities and tangy dressing.) Cook until the small bits are crispy but the mushrooms remain tender and juicy inside.
2. To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar, honey and sumac together before slowly whisking in the olive oil. Once a nice emulsification forms, fold in the chives. (The dressing can be made a day ahead, but if you do that, hold off on adding the chives until right before serving.)
3. Drizzle the dressing over the grilled mushrooms and serve hot or at room temperature.
PRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM COOK REAL HAWAI’I BY SHELDON SIMEON AND GARRETT SNYDER, COPYRIGHT © 2021. PUBLISHED BY CLARKSON POTTER/PUBLISHERS, AN IMPRINT OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE.PHOTOGRAPHY COPYRIGHT: KEVIN J. MIYAZAKI © 2021