I was out taking my mom grocery shopping at her favourite local organic market (Organic Garage) one Saturday aftertoon, and we came upon this cute package of mushrooms labeled as ‘bunapi’ mushrooms. They looked to be similar to enokis but a bit bigger, and a brief iPhone googling lead me to believe they would be delicious, so into the shopping cart they went. They grow in clusters and like enokis you discard the tough flavourless base and eat the stocks and heads.
One of my favourite recipes is enoki mushrooms wrapped in beef, so I set out to replicate this using these slightly larger, more flavoursome mushrooms. I hit up the supermarket in the morning and perused the beef section. There are lots of different types of thinly sliced beef readily available, but I chose sirloin for its extremely tender texture instead of a more flavoursome but potentially tougher cut. I also picked up purple asparagus and fresh yellow potatoes. Had I not had fresh baby garlic and chives (optional) from the garden I would have picked these up too. Regular garlic would work too, but don’t go overboard, you don’t want to overpower the rather delicate mushrooms.
I began by boiling my quartered potatoes, and steaming my purple asparagus in the same pot. This is a technique I like mostly to save stove space, and thankfully unlike many purple vegetables, purple asparagus is color-fast and doesn’t stain the potatoes below it. Purple asparagus does not need as much cooking time as regular asparagus as it is already more tender to begin with, and excessive cooking will remove the purple color. As an aside, white asparagus requires special preparation and almost 2x the cooking of green asparagus, where as purple is the exact opposite. Definitely the best asparagus if you can get it when it’s in season! The asparagus will be done before the potatoes, just test it with a fork, but both will be done before everything else.
We begin by cutting away the base of the mushroom cluster off and throwing it away. Separate all the little mushrooms and put them in our pan. Next we can start sautéing our bunapis in a bit of cooking oil like canola or sunflower, nothing too flavoursome though. Medium-high heat (6/10) but not too long, just a couple minutes. We don’t want to over cook them, they should wilt a bit without destroying their texture. Add in your garlic and chives and continue to sauté for another couple minutes. Again you want the mushrooms soft but not overcooked, eat one and test :) Take them off the heat and put them in a bowl to cool for later.
Next I fried my sirloins on the stove, and I think that this is the weak point of this recipe. Had I had access to a barbecue, or better yet a hibachi grill, I think the crispy texture of the meat would have aided the overall dish. (That’s high rise living for ya) Either way you cook them, high heat (8/10 on the stove) and just a minute on each side, you don’t want to dry the meat out. I rubbed them down with paper towel when they were done to remove any excess oil, the sirloin is a pretty lean meat on its own. It wont be pleasant to eat (since it is finger food!) if the outside is too greasy after all… I didn’t season the meat at all, again we don’t want to overpower our delicate filling.
Once our steaks are cook enough to touch, we can begin rolling our wraps. Put a decent amount of the filling inside, and arrange some mushroom heads to point out at least one (if not both) of the sides. Roll the meat tightly and then tooth pick them closed and you’re done! Put a couple on a plate with some potatoes and asparagus and serve while its all still warm.
It’s delicious, easy and quick! The bunapis are sweet and delicate, you don’t want to over season them. I would definitely recommend using a grill instead of a frying pan, but either way it was a hit. Roll some up today, you’ll love ‘em!