Friday, May 25, 2018

Dryad's Saddle and Gochujang

Dryad's cooked with gochujang and stuffed into temaki

Lots and lots of dryad's saddle polypore (Cerioporus squamosus) are out and at a perfect consumption stage in southern New England right now. Some people accept them as the "consolation prize" for not finding morels, but we argue that since dryad's are so abundant, why not find tasty ways to use them? We personally find their taste mild, better than some other marginal polypores that people will eat (I'm referring to Berkley's polypore or the black staining polypore) in the coming summer months, and their texture quite excellent when collected young enough.

Dryad's tossed with sweet potato noodles and gochujang sauce

Here, the dryad's get paired with some sauce made with gochujang, a Korean chili pepper paste that also contains glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and sometimes sweeteners. We buy it in a bright red tub at a local Asian market, and keep it refrigerated once opened. The sauce is also made with some added miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, then simmered and reduced until it is quite thick, before stirring it into the diced or sliced dryad's that has been pan seared for 5-7 minutes. The diced and sauced dryad's got stuffed into some temaki hand rolls with seasoned sushi rice and chopped wild garlic. Another meal was made by cooking some Korean sweet potato starch noodles, and tossing them with the cooked, sliced dryad's and the gochujang sauce, and serving it with a side of steamed Chinese broccoli.

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