Nametake: A Jar of Soy Sauce Simmered Enoki Mushrooms
When it comes to the mushrooms that represent Japan, “Shiitake (椎茸)” is famous and widely enjoyed in many countries, and I like to eat the grilled mushroom with soy sauce and butter.
Another representative example of Japan-originated cultivated mushrooms is “Enoki (えのき)” whose wild form is referred to as winter mushrooms in English.
Enoki are thin long white mushrooms and often used in Japanese cuisine, together with Shiitake, especially as an ingredient for miso soup and “Nabemono (鍋物: Japanese hot-pot)”.
Enoki mushrooms are not only sold in plastic packages in fresh form but in Japan, there are also processed Enoki products available.
When I think of processed Enoki mushrooms, what comes to my mind first is “Nametake (なめ茸)”, so today I picked up a jar of Nametake mushrooms for this blog article.
Nametake is soy sauce simmered Enoki mushrooms and usually comes in glass jars.
It was first developed around the year 1958 or 1959 by “Nishiki (錦)” (Google Map), a Ryotei restaurant located in Arashiyama, Kyoto, and afterward became popular.
Where to Buy
And today, you can buy Nametake in most supermarkets and many drugstores around the country. Besides, it is inexpensive.
In fact, I bought this jar of Nametake for about 100 yen (about 1 USD) at a drugstore near my house.
Next, let’s see the ingredients. According to the list on the side of the jar, this Nametake mainly consists of Enoki mushrooms, sugar, starch syrup, soy sauce, salt, Kombu seaweed extract, bonito extract, chicken bouillon, yeast extract, and agar.
Nametake is made by simmering 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 taste from Kombu, bonito, and chicken spread.
The soy sauce-simmered Enoki mushrooms, Nametake can be eaten as it is without cooking, and we Japanese like to eat it with plain white rice, putting the mushrooms on the rice. And the rice bowl dish is known as Nametake rice.
In addition to the bowl of rice, Nametake goes especially well with grated Daikon radish “Daikon Oroshi (大根おろし)” and boiled Wakame seaweed.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia ナメタケ )