<Ingredients> 4 Servings
Daikon (大根 / Daikon) 200g
Salt (塩/ Shio) 1/2tsp
Dried shiitake mushroom (ほし椎茸 / Hoshi shiitake) 1
Yuzu (柚子 / Yuzu) 1/2

Sweet vinegar (甘酢 / Amazu)
Vinegar (酢/ Su) 3tbsp
Sugar (砂糖 / Satōh) 1 1/2tbsp
Salt (塩/ Shio) 1/4tsp

<How to Make>
① Skin the daikon and cut into 2mm-thick quarter-rounds and place them into a bowl. Sprinkle on salt, set aside for about 10 minutes, and then drain off the water that develops. Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushroom by placing it in a heat-resistant bowl and adding 75ml of water. Once the mushroom has softened, heat the bowl in a microwave for 1 minute and then allow it to cool. Gently press the excess water out of the cooled mushroom and save the water (You’re going to use it to make the sweet vinegar). Cut the mushroom into thin slices. Trim the zest off of the yuzu and cut it into fine strips. Juice the yuzu.
② Combine the sweet-vinegar ingredients and mix well. Add the yuzu juice and the water you pressed out of the shiitake mushroom.
③ Place the daikon, shitake, and yuzu zest in a bowl, and dress with the sweet vinegar.

【Mushroom Tips】

Drying and freezing are two ways to not only preserve mushrooms, but also enhance their flavor. Cells within a mushroom contain enzymes that create umami, or savoriness, when released. Drying or freezing causes cell damage that allows umami-creating enzymes to flow out of the cells when the mushroom is cooked. The best flavor results can be obtained by heating mushrooms to above 60C. This is because mushroom cells also contain enzymes that destroy umami. These enzymes, however, are deactivated by heating to 60C. The umami-creating enzymes continue to be active until 100C. They also need a little bit of time to work, so better flavor will be achieved by not using a microwave oven.

Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins and vitamin D, which can be increased with exposure to ultraviolet light (a good reason to dry mushrooms under sunlight). They are also rich in minerals and dietary fiber, and contain β-glucan, which is said to stimulate the immune system and be useful in controlling serum cholesterol.

Recipe Developed by: Machiko Tateno