oct 3, 2020

King Trumpet Mushroom and Corn Sauté

This dish from co-founder Chris is on our household’s greatest hits list. It was loosely inspired by a recipe he spotted in Charles Phan’s cookbook, The Slanted Door. The pairing of king trumpet mushrooms and corn struck a chord and, aided by a cupboard full of artisanal Japanese ingredients (Chris is also co-founder of The Japanese Pantry), this simple sauté was born.
Cut 3 or 4 large king trumpet mushrooms into ½-inch dice. Cut the kernels from 2 or 3 ears of corn - our preferred method (thanks, chef Frances!): lay an ear of corn down and cut the kernels from each "side", rotating the cob toward your knife before each cut. Then use the spine of the knife to scrape any remaining liquid from the cob (that’s liquid gold!). No trying to balance a slippery cob on its end. No airborne corn kernels. No muss, no fuss.
Place a skillet on medium high heat. Add a splash of neutral oil, like grapeseed or rice bran, and, when it shimmers from the heat, add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and are marked with some tawny spots. Stir in the corn and corn liquid. Pour in a tablespoon of white tamari or liquid shio koji, and stir to coat. Cook for a minute or two, until the liquid has evaporated. Taste, and add some more liquid shio koji or white tamari if additional salt is needed (both are nice and briny). You’ll be amazed at how buttery the combination tastes, though it is dairy free (and vegan). We like to shower ours with a good amount of freshly ground black pepper and chopped cilantro, parsley, or shiso before eating.
If you lack liquid shio koji or white tamari, use butter and salt instead: start by adding ½ teaspoon salt while cooking the mushrooms. Near the end of cooking, fold a pat of butter into the mix, and season to your taste with more salt if it is needed.
This simple dish can be made year round with frozen corn, though we really hope you’ll try it while market tables are still piled with fresh ears here in the S.F. Bay Area. Other mushroom varieties may be substituted, but the bouncy texture of king trumpets with the sweet chew of the corn is our family’s favorite.