Nametake : A jar of soy sauce boiled Enoki mushrooms
When it comes to the mushrooms that represent Japan, “Shiitake (椎茸)” is famous in the world. I love its grilled mushroom with soy sauce and butter. Another representative of Japan-originated cultivated mushrooms is “Enoki (えのき)”, whose wild form is referred to as winter mushrooms in English.
Enoki are long thin white mushrooms and often used in Japanese cuisine together with Shiitake mushrooms, especially as an ingredient for miso soup and “Nabemono (鍋物 : Japanese hot-pot dishes)“. Accordingly, Enoki mushrooms are not only sold in plastic packages at supermarkets, but there are also processed Enoki available there.
When I think of processed Enoki mushrooms, what comes to mind first is “Nametake (なめ茸)”, so today, I purchased a jar of Nametake mushrooms for this blog.
Nametake are soy sauce boiled Enoki mushrooms and usually come in jars. It was first developed around the year 1958 or 1959 by “Nishiki (錦)“, a Ryotei restaurant located in Arashiyama, Kyoto, and subsequently became common.
Where to buy Nametake mushrooms
Hence, you can buy Nametake at almost any supermarket and many drugstores in Japan. It is generally inexpensive. In fact, I bought this jar of Nametake for about 100 yen (about 1 USD) at a drugstore near my house.
According to the description on the side of the jar, the ingredients include Enoki mushrooms, sugar, starch syrup, soy sauce, salt, Kombu seaweed extract, bonito extract, chicken bouillon, yeast extract, and agar.
Nametake is made by boiling down Enoki mushrooms in a soy sauce based sweet sauce. It is sweet rather than salty, and when you put the mushrooms in the mouth, a subtle aroma of soy sauce and lots of umami coming from Kombu, bonito, and chicken spread.
Nametake mushrooms are a processed food and can be eaten as they are without cooking. Speaking of Nametake, Nametake rice, or Nametake mushrooms and steamed plain rice are the most common combination familiar to us Japanese.
In addition to plain white rice, Nametake mushrooms match best with grated Daikon radish, “Daikon Oroshi (大根おろし)”, and boiled Wakame seaweed.
(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia ナメタケ )