For the Sesame Caramel
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp glucose
- ½ cup water, plus 1 cup for brushing
- 2 tbsp + ½ tsp white sesame seeds
- ¾ cup shiro dashi
- ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
- ½ cup butter
- Add sugar, glucose, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. With a cup of water and a brush, brush the sides of your pot where there are sugar crystals, being sure to keep the sides very clean.
- Bring the sugar solution to 370 F. Once the sugar hits temperature, add sesame seeds and toast for about 20 seconds.
- Add all liquids into caramel, being very careful to not splatter onto yourself. Allow the liquid to reduce out completely. Remove the pot from heat.
- Add the butter, constantly stirring until the butter is melted completely in the caramel.
- Add water to balance the consistency until the caramel is at a soft ribbon stage. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Furikake
- 3 tbsp nori
- 2 ½ tsp sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp black rice vinegar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 ¾ tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp white sesame, toasted
- 2 tbps black sesame, toasted
- 4 tbsp arare rice pearls
- Toast nori over an open flame on the kitchen stove.
- Mix toasted nori, sugar, and all wet ingredients into a bowl until it forms a paste. Spread paste out on a sheet tray and put into a dehydrator on the low setting.
- Once the mixture is dried, put it into a blender to turn it into a powder.
- Mix the remaining ingredients together. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Maitake
- Oil to fry as needed
- 4 each maitake, whole
- 4 tbsp furikake
- ½ cup burnt sesame caramel
- Katsuobushi for garnish
- Wondra flour as needed
- Preheat oil to 350 F.
- Toss the maitake gently in the wondra flour and coat it completely. Tap off any excess flour.
- Fry the mushrooms in the oil for about a minute and a half. After the time is up, press them down so they are fully submerged for another 30 seconds to a minute. Ensure the tops are cooked and crispy before removing.
- Remove from the fryer and transfer to a tray with paper towels to catch excess oil.
- Place fried mushroom on a caramel coated plate. Drizzle caramel on top of the mushroom so it is evenly coated. Garnish with the furikake and katsuobushi and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Matt O’Neill, Executive Chef at WoodWind in Chicago.