Appetizer Spotlight FBC2017: Bacon-Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms with a Maple-Sake Glaze by Diversivore

Our appetizer contest is now closed, but we’ve still got a few entries to share! Do you have a favourite yet?Bloggers are sharing their favourite appetizers, this time with a Canadian twist, for a chance to win their way in to FBC2017! FBC members were invited to join the contest, earning them entry and accommodations at the conference, as well as a spotlight feature at the Mushrooms Canada table during the opening night reception. For those of you who are just here for delicious eats, watch the competition unfold, as we share each entry and help us decide!

We’re excited to welcome Sean from Diversivore to this year’s contest! Sean showcases the beautiful Enoki mushroom in his West Coast-inspired dish.Bacon-Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms with a Maple-Sake Glaze
Japanese food has had an indelible impression on Canadian cuisine, especially here on the West Coast. Canadian and Japanese foods seem to have a natural affinity for one another – in fact Japan is now the second only to the USA in imports of maple syrup. This salty-sweet, intensely savoury appetizer embraces those cross-cultural connections with Canadian-grown enoki mushrooms wrapped in strips of bacon and grilled with a sauce made from maple syrup, shoyu, and sake made in Vancouver with Canadian-grown rice. The sauce (properly called tare [TAH-ray]), can be made up to a week in advance, making this an elegant-yet-simple appetizer that comes together in a snap.

Ingredients

Mushroom-Bacon Bundles
200 g enoki mushrooms
375 g bacon
8 scallions white portions only (see below)
Maple-Sake Tare (Glaze)
1/2 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 cup sake (rice wine)
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp maple syrup separated into 2 and 1 tbsp portions
7.5 g ginger (~1 cm) unpeeled, thinly sliced
15 g scallion greens (~3-4)
2 cloves garlic

Note: for best results, I used a good amber Canadian maple syrup, Granville Island Osake Junmai Nama sake, and a good Japanese mirin containing alcohol (not corn syrup).

Method

Maple-Sake Tare (Glaze)
1. Combine the liquid ingredients except for 1 tbsp of maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the ginger, scallion greens and garlic cloves and simmer over medium-high heat until the sauce is reduced by about half (about 15-20 minutes). It should be glossy and relatively thick. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Strain the solids and store the sauce in a sealed container. It can be refrigerated for up to a month.
3. Reserve 1/2 tbsp of the tare sauce and combine with the remaining 1 tbsp of maple syrup. You’ll use this to brush the cooked mushroom-bacon bundles in the final step below.
Bacon-wrapped Mushrooms
1. If using wooden/bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes beforehand. Alternately, use metal skewers.
2. Gently clean and trim the base of the enoki mushrooms, then separate them into small bundles, about the thickness of a thumb.
3. Heat a grill/barbecue to about 350°F, assuming it has an upper rack or some other way to keep the skewers far from any flames. If you don’t have an upper rack, heat the grill to a lower temperature, about 275° F, and place a tray below the grill to prevent flare-ups from the bacon fat.
4. Starting at the base, wrap a bundle of mushroom with a strip of bacon. The bacon should spiral up the stalk of mushrooms, overlapping slightly all along the way. Thread the bundle onto two skewers, then thread a scallion on in the same fashion. You can use 1 skewer only, but it makes it much more difficult to turn the mushrooms on the grill without them rotating. Repeat with all remaining mushrooms and scallions. Place 3 bundles and 2 scallions on each pair of skewers.
5. Use a brush to baste the mushroom/bacon wraps with the maple-sake tare sauce.
6. Place the mushroom skewers on the upper rack of the barbecue and cook, periodically turning and brushing on more tare sauce. Cook until the mushrooms and scallions are soft and a bit charred and the bacon is well-cooked (10-15 minutes). If you don’t have an upper rack, cook directly on the grill over lower heat. Pay close attention in either case, as the rendering bacon fat can flare up on the grill considerably, especially in the final few minutes.
7. Remove the bacon-mushroom bundles from the grill and brush with the reserved tare and maple glaze from above. Serve immediately (allow for 2 per person as an appetizer).

~~~~~FBC Members were encouraged to join the competition with their own recipe! The contest is now closed.

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