Mystic Mushroom Paella

October 20, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Tempted by Oregon Mushrooms' availability and speedy delivery of fresh Matsutake mushrooms, I had been thinking of a Japanese paella with seabass or snapper at first. But when these glorious mushrooms arrived, they quickly became the focus of my paella dish. These legendary mushrooms ripen in the Japanese red pine forests in the fall. They are distinctively meaty yet delicate all at the same time. I have paired these with crimini mushrooms for a mushroom east-west fusion dish. The final invention was to pair bamboo rice with Italian carnaroli rice. I am trying to fuse, cross pollinate, or maybe variegate is a more apt verb here, some Japanese with Italian. I used my homemade stock, which happened to have vestiges of duck this week, fresh herbs, and abundant vegetables. Having just found Arcun oil, I decided to try it out with this dish. For garnish you could use Japanese wild parsley (trefoil) or cilantro. This recipe is sized for a 14 inch paella pan. I think the resulting flavors are mystical in this dish! It is very easy to make. Thank you, Oregon Mushrooms for making this possible! - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

Test Kitchen Notes

Sagegreen’s recipes are pure poetry to read and this paella was a joy to cook and eat as well. I used a mixture of maitake, oyster, shiitake, and button mushrooms. The finished dish had amazing layers of flavor with a meaty taste from the mushrooms (I used mushroom broth as well). Didn’t quite get the socarrat right but the parts that were crusty tasted smoky and crunched deliciously. Will make it again until I get the socarrat right and will use it for vegetarian birthday parties. - luvcookbooks —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 4- 4 1/2 cups your best homemade heated stock, seasoned with fresh herbs
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • Arcun or olive oil
  • 1 pound Matsutake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2-3 cippolini onions or 1 very large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (and peeled)
  • 1 small heirloom tomato, grated, seeded, salted, and drained (mine was yellow this time)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • kosher or sea salt to taste
  • fresh milled pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup bamboo rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup carnaroli rice, rinsed
  • 1 bunch Japanese trefoil or cilantro
  • bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 8 fresh lemon wedges
  1. Heat the oil in the paella pan. Saute the mushrooms quickly and remove to a plate for later. Saute the red pepper and set aside.
  2. Saute the ginger, onion and garlic until translucent in the paella pan. Add the tomato. Cook until it darkens.
  3. Take 1/2 cup of the heated stock and add the saffron in a cup. Let this steep. Then add it back to the stock.
  4. Blend the two rices together. Add them to the paella pan; distribute the rice evenly across the pan. Stir until coated and opaque, about 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and sake; reduce over medium heat.
  5. Arrange the mushrooms and red peppers on top of the rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Next, add the heated broth. Do not stir the rice from this point onward. Simmer vigorously over medium heat. When the rice is at the same level as the liquid, reduce the heat to medium low. Rotate the pan if needed across the burners to distribute the heat. Add more liquid if needed.
  6. After the rice is al dente (test a grain of rice below the top layer: it should have a tiny white dot in the center), increase the heat to medium high for about 2 minutes to create the crusty socarrat. The bottom layer of rice will begin to caramelize quickly. Do not burn. Remove from heat immediately if you smell burning.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and cover for about 5 minutes. After letting the paella rest, garnish with lemon wedges, the trefoil or cilantro, parsley, and scallions. Bring the pan to the table and invite folks to eat directly from the pan, starting from the perimeter and moving towards the center.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • drbabs
  • luvcookbooks
  • adamnsvetcooking

8 Reviews

Sagegreen November 4, 2010
Thanks, luvcookbooks, for testing my mushroom paella, especially as an all vegetarian dish. I am so glad you liked it. This works well with a range of great mushrooms and bhutan red rice, too. It is always such an honor to make "ep!"
luvcookbooks November 5, 2010
what is bamboo rice? arun oil? too busy to ask before i tested, but your range of ingredients is always amazing!! got my mushrooms from a whole foods, luv them for convenient access-- they even have emu and ostrich eggs!!
Sagegreen November 5, 2010
Without my glasses I misread the font on the label of what is actually argan oil...that is from the nut of a tree in Morocco and North Africa. Argania is the species now under UNESCO protection. The oil is nutty and almost light Parmesan cheese-like in taste, I find. Prized for healing properties for skin, it is also a special culinary oil, which I found on sale at William Sonoma. The bamboo rice is the short grained green rice pictured in my paella pan. When cooked the green is much less pronounced. We have a whole foods, too, which my friends refer to as whole paycheck.
Sagegreen November 5, 2010
Sorry, I also misspelled a former director of a writing program at a major university for 5 years, I am often called on such errors with glee by colleagues, as if I should be somehow serving as a member of the grammar police forevermore.
adamnsvetcooking October 20, 2010
Very colorful and I bet it tastes really good :)
Sagegreen October 21, 2010
Thanks, adamsvetcooking. The contrast in flavors and textures between the two mushrooms works well, I think. The dry Matsutake mushrooms are really good, too, but Oregon Mushrooms has a great sale of their fresh ones, which are stellar! I realize this will paella may not be for everyone, but it was delicious. I only had 3/4 cup of the green bamboo rice, which is what started me thinking of blending it with white rice.
drbabs October 20, 2010
This is really gorgeous, sagegreen! I love that you made a vegetarian paella (well, except for the duck stock...)
Sagegreen October 20, 2010
Thanks, drbabs. This could easily be made with a great vegetable stock for all vegetarian. I just fell in love with the Japanese mushrooms, which I have only had dried before. I ordered these this weekend, and they came on Tuesday! The flavors! You do not need any fish or meat!