The mushrooming demand for mushrooms

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-08-18 13:00

The mushrooming demand for mushrooms

A culinary delicacy

In Shanghai, matsutake mushrooms used to be sold only in Yunnan restaurants and Japanese teppanyaki joints. Over the past two years, however, a variety of restaurants, ranging from Shanghainese to Cantonese and even Western style establishments, have started offering the premium produce to their diners.

Chef Lu Yiming, one of Shanghai's most renowned chefs who runs two Michelin-starred restaurants - Yong Yi Ting and Fu He Hui - explained that offering the matsutake to customers falls in line with the current food trend of experiencing seasonal tastes.

At Yong Yi Ting, a restaurant within Mandarin Oriental Pudong that serves Huaiyang cuisine, Lu presents special menus featuring premium mushrooms from Yunnan and hairy crabs every year.

"Yunjun (short for Yunnan fungus) doesn't really fit into the concept of eating local. But it's native to China, and offers a variety of possibilities to showcase the refined culinary style of Huaiyang cuisine," said Lu.

On the mushroom themed menu at Yong Yi Ting this year, diners get to choose from a dozen dishes ranging from appetizers to soups and dim sum. Lu has also adopted the Shanghainese cooking style, such as red braising, to prepare some of the dishes.

Malaysian chef Otto Goh, who runs The Cook at Kerry Hotel Pudong, is one of the latest fans of the matsutake.

Business at the restaurant during summer is usually slow as the main bulk of their customers - top executives from multinational companies - go on vacation. As such, Goh often makes trips to other Chinese cities in search of unique ingredients.

After visiting Yunnan thrice since last year and learning how to prepare a variety of mushroom dishes, the 44-year-old decided to introduce a matsutake buffet priced at 298 yuan. He said that the mushroom has the potential to achieve greater popularity among Westerners because of its unique earthy aroma and fleshy texture.

"The rationale is simple: we offer the best at the lowest price possible during the worst season so that we could drive business," said Goh. "There is a Chinese saying that good wine can be found even if it is hidden deep in an alley because it is just so fragrant. I believe this is the case with mushrooms."

Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349