Enoki is a very popular mushroom in Asian cuisine due to its health benefits. This mushroom, also known as the winter mushroom, gold needle, or velvet foot, is typical of the year’s cold months. The wild variety differs quite a lot from the cultivated one, with a thicker foot, a more open hat, and brown. In contrast, cultivated enoki grows in dark environments with little ventilation, achieving an elongated mushroom with a pure white colour that is attractive to the eye and softer for the kitchen.
Now you can live the experience of growing enoki mushrooms at home with our self-cultivation kit. Also, visit our blog for growing instructions.
Cultivated enoki mushroom
These small mushrooms are highly valued in Chinese and Japanese diets for their mildness in cooking and have also been used in traditional medicine as a tonic to combat liver disease, cholesterol, digestive disorders, blood pressure, and cancer.
The low caloric intake of this mushroom (with only 44 Kcal per 100 grams) and its elongated shape make it a substitute for pasta or an important element in vegetarian dishes and low-calorie diets.
On the other hand, they are rich in vitamin D, fibre, B vitamins, and essential minerals such as iron, potassium and phosphorus. They are also rich in antioxidants, standing out mainly for their high ergothioneine content, which helps prevent or delay cell damage caused by free radicals or UV rays. These mushrooms also stand out, like many others, for their high content of beta-glucans, capable of regulating and strengthening our immune system.
How to cook enoki
Enoki is very delicate and perishable, so it is advisable not to keep them in the fridge for more than 3 or 4 days. They have an exquisite, fresh and sweet flavour and their ease of preparation or incredible versatility will enchant you. These mushrooms are marketed in bouquets to extend their life. Cut the base to separate them from the bouquet and wash them in water before cooking.
Enoki mushrooms can be prepared in different ways, both raw in salads, cooked in a pan, baked or cooked. These mushrooms need very little cooking time and go perfectly with meat, seafood, vegetarian dishes and as a substitute for pasta. They are very suitable for steaming or sautéing with other vegetables. You can also add them to stir-fries, soups, omelettes, risottos or curries. The best thing about these mushrooms is that they quickly absorb the flavours of the other elements, making them tastier. Here are some ideas that were taken from cooking blogs for you to put into practice.
The harvesting of mushrooms is approaching, and we must be very careful with them because although some have a very important nutritional value, others can even cause death.
The consumption of mushrooms is part of our gastronomic culture, and people with knowledge in mycology have always carried out their collection. So it is essential to differentiate and know the mushrooms because there is a great diversity of them that are toxic, causing gastrointestinal symptoms to kidney or liver problems. And they can even become deadly like Amanita phalloides. A very common mushroom that usually causes a large number of annual poisonings.
As a result of these poisonings, many institutions have decided to carry out information campaigns on mushrooms and respect the environment.
They only recommend cutting edible mushrooms such as the Negrilla, the Rovellón, the dead Trumpet, the San Jorge Mushroom, and the Chanterelle. And always, tried trying to follow these steps: first pry with the knife and then cut at the foot of the mushroom. Trying to move the land where that mushroom has grown as little as possible since if we dig or move the land a lot, we will prevent mushrooms from appearing next season.
Many factors make the nutritional properties of mushrooms vary; we must think that their composition will not be the same if the mushroom is wild or if it has been grown in a greenhouse. Another factor that influences it is the humidity level where it has grown and the cooking time.
In general, like any other food of plant origin, mushrooms contain a high amount of water; we could say that 90% of their weight corresponds to water. Therefore, they are foods with a very low caloric value and can be consumed without problems in a low-calorie diet, as long as they are cooked with very little oil. For example, 100 grams of mushrooms only provide 23 kilocalories and 100 grams of chanterelles 14 kilocalories.
Its most prominent nutrient is protein, which can reach 4.5 grams per 100 meals. Articles, although the average is 3g / 100g edible. Despite being very small amounts, we must bear in mind that they are proteins of vegetable origin and that other vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, carrot, apple, grape, eggplant and others do not contain edible 1g / 100g.
The next nutrient is a carbohydrate, which is usually 4 g / 100g edible grams. Lastly, there are fats, with less than 1g / 100g edible. The type of fats found in these foods is usually polyunsaturated fats, such as linolenic acid. An essential lipid that prevents cardiovascular diseases.
As functional properties, its fibre content (6.89 g / 100 g in the case of chanterelles) should be highlighted, favouring intestinal transit while facilitating a satiating effect after eating it. In addition to fibre, mushrooms contain many antioxidants, thanks to their vitamin C content (4 g / 100 g).
The consumption of mushrooms reduces the level of absorption of dietary cholesterol thanks to its statin content. And according to recent studies, statins may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.
Mushrooms are the most anticipated gift of autumn. The forests, at this time, are filled with mushroom hunters, armed with basket and knife in hand, in search of these wild wonders.
And it is that reasons to fall in love with them are not lacking. Its nutritional properties speak for themselves.
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES OF MUSHROOMS
• Low caloric content.
• High water content.
• Great concentration of minerals such as iodine, potassium and phosphorus.
• Rich in many vitamins, especially B2 and B3.
• They contain ergosterol, a substance found in plant tissues that can be transformed into vitamin D. This substance, thanks to the action of the sun, is converted into provitamin D2 that favours the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which contributes to the mineralization of bones and teeth.
• Rich in antioxidants, enzymes, beta-glucans, flavonoids and carotenoids.
All this translates into multiple benefits in our bodies. I detail the most relevant ones in the attached infographic.