Last week, Jan and I went over the hill to Santa Cruz to visit her “new” brother. While we were there, we stopped by a large book store that was going out of business. The cookbook section was fairly picked over, but as I was perusing the fiction section I found a book Izakaya: Japanese Bar food—someone had obviously picked it up and then changed their mind, leaving it “where ever.” Their loss, my gain. This Sunday, I decided to make a Japanese bar style dinner.
I have changed several of the recipes from this book enough to call them my own. For this one, I made it mostly as written—my only major change was to use more mushrooms. Jan and Miriam really like mushrooms and this recipe produced a really tasty dish.
Note: The true trick to this recipe is how long you marinate the mushrooms before grilling them. In the three hour marinating time the mushrooms become completely saturated with the sauce.
Japanese Bar Style Shiitaki and Sesame Skewers
¼ cup Japanese soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. sesame oil
12+ shiitaki mushrooms
1 Tbs. sesame oil
Sufficient 6 inch bamboo skewers, for 2 mushrooms per skewer, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1. Put the soy sauce sugar and sesame oil into a sealable quart plastic bag.
Tip: Mix the sauce until the sugar has completely dissolved.
2. Stem the mushrooms and put them in the bag.
3. Press most of the air out of the bag and seal it.
Note: Do not crush the mushrooms.
4. Shake the bag to distribute the sauce over the shiitaki.
5. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let it marinate for three hours.
Tip: Flip the bag several times to redistribute the sauce.
6. Place two mushrooms on each skewer.
7. Grill the shiitaki until they are starting to brown around the edges, 4-5 minutes per side.
8. Brush with the oil and arrange on a serving platter.
Tip: You may garnish with some green onion.