Enoki Baataa (Butter)

I’ve always loved enoki baataa, a Japanese side dish made of enoki mushrooms and butter, but because I always pronounced it “baataa” (the way the Japanese say “butter”) in my head, I didn’t realize it was, well, butter. Who doesn’t love butter and mushrooms?

The Japanese twist on this favorite incorporates sake and Japanese enoki mushrooms. It is soooooo good!

I really like enoki with Japanese cucumber pickles called Shibazuke, with rice on nori (seaweed). The soft savory mushrooms contrast nicely with the sharp crunchy pickles. Yum!

Enoki mushrooms are very mild flavored, and very inexpensive. Usually one packet like the one pictured below is about $1 if you go to the not fancy Asian markets.

This recipe is an estimate of how much to use, but because the amount of mushrooms will be different each time, you’ll have to adjust. Also, each person is different. Some like lemon on their enoki baataa, but I don’t unless there is a ton of butter. Others like more pepper, but I’m not that fond of pepper and I think it masks the delicate mushroom flavor. Play with the ingredients to your taste!

Enoki Baataa (Butter)

1/2 – 3/4 Tablespoon butter (according to taste)
One 3.5 oz package of enoki mushrooms, with the bottom part cut off. Cut up to where the mushrooms aren’t really sticking to each other much (a little is ok). Discard the bottom.
1 teaspoon sake
2 pinches salt
Tiny bit of black pepper

In a flat pan, melt about the butter. Make sure its a pan big enough to spread out the mushrooms – as Julia Child says, don’t crowd the mushrooms!

Sprinkle in the mushrooms, breaking them up from each other. With all the butter they should look kind of slimy. Like this:

Don’t worry, the butter will largely absorb. Cook for about two minutes.

Add a touch of pepper.

Add sake.

Saute til it starts getting brown, like this:

Add salt. Taste. Adjust. Serve and enjoy!