There is a good reason why Nameko is the most extensively farmed fungus in Jᴀᴘᴀɴ. The traditional recipe for miso soup liberally uses chopped pieces since it is thought to be a powerful medicinal fungus with anti-ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ qualities. Since the cap of this delicious, nutty mushroom is slippery, most recipes call for adding the sautéed back into a sauce or soup to ensure the texture is fully absorbed.
Nameko is a cold-sensitive mushroom that flushes twice a few weeks apart and normally fruits in the fall when the temperature dips below 50°F for the first time. The optimum cultivation technique uses wrapped, leaf-covered logs that are slightly submerged lengthwise on the ground. Be prepared to use a pair of scissors to cut these off just above the logs and place them into a basket and directly into the kitchen when these “rafts” fruit because they explode with hundreds of Nameko, wall to wall fruiting!
This species is also fruited indoors on supplemented sawdust, but because it requires a significant cold sʜᴏᴄᴋ to trigger fruiting, we typically grow it indoors throughout the winter in a separate fruiting room with other cold-dependent species.
Nameko mushrooms are a staple element in ᴍᴀɴy Jᴀᴘᴀɴese recipes, notably the country’s famous miso soup. Long wʜɪᴛe stems and smooth heads with colors ranging from amber to orange-brown characterize nameko mushrooms. Each cap has a lustrous gelatinous covering and a diameter of no more than an inch. As nameko literally translates to “slimy mushroom” in Jᴀᴘᴀɴese, it is this slippery cap that gave the fungus its name.
The majority of nameko mushrooms, which are endemic to most of Asia, are found in Jᴀᴘᴀɴ from October to February. They grow in groups around detritus, such as the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ trunks of oak or beech trees. This kind of mushroom is grown all year long in Jᴀᴘᴀɴ, Southern California, and other parts of the world because of nameko gardens. Nameko mushrooms can be bought both dry and canned at specialist markets, while not being readily available at all supermarkets.
Namekos don’t taste exactly how they smell, as is the case with ᴍᴀɴy fresh mushrooms. They smell more like butterscotch or cashews, yet they have an earthy flavor and a faint fruity taste. A good source of protein, nameko mushrooms also contain polysaccharides and important minerals like calcium and potassium. Nameko mushrooms also contain vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin.
Let’s see the Mushroom Farm You Never Seen Before – Nameko, Lingzhi, Emperor Oyster Mushroom cultivation in the ᴀᴡᴇsome video below.
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Video resource: Noal Farm