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  • Karlie Verkerk - Mushrooms and White Sesame

    Serves 4, as a starter


    Sesame Sauce

    1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted

    2 tbsp sake

    1 tbsp soy sauce

    2 tsp white sesame oil

    2 tsp mirin

    2 tsp rice wine vinegar

    1/4 tsp caster sugar

    Salt, to taste


    Pickled matsutake mushrooms

    ½ cup rice wine vinegar

    ¼ cup caster sugar

    20g fresh ginger, thinly sliced

    12 matsutake mushrooms


    Grilled shiitake mushrooms

    2 large shiitake mushrooms, cut into quarters

    1 tsp olive oil

    Salt, to taste


    Sauteed white shiitake mushrooms

    2 tbsp grapeseed oil

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    1 tsp finely grated ginger

    1 spring onion, finely sliced

    8 white shiitake mushrooms

    2 tbsp light soy sauce


    Mushroom and Cocoa Dust

    5 dried shiitake mushrooms

    ½ tsp cocoa powder

    Pinch salt


    To serve

    2 slices king brown mushroom

    1 clove roasted garlic, cut in half

    Toasted white sesame seeds

    Spring onion, green part only, finely sliced

    1. For the Sesame Sauce, place all ingredients and 2 tablespoons water in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside.
    2. For the Pickled Matsutake Musrooms, place vinegar, sugar and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add mushrooms and pickle for 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    3. For the Grilled Shiitake Mushrooms, set a wire cooling rack over an open flame and grill shiitake mushrooms, for 2-3 minutes, turning halfway, until lightly charred. Coat in oil and season. Set aside.
    4. For the Sauteed White Shiitake Mushrooms, eat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and spring onion, and cook for 1 minute. Add shiitakes and cook for a further minute. Add soy sauce, toss and remove from heat. Set aside.
    5. For the Mushroom and Cocoa Dust, place all ingredients in a spice grinder and blitz to a fine powder.  Set aside.
    6. To serve, place one tablespoon of sesame sauce in the middle of each plate.  Arrange mushrooms in a half moon around the edge of the sauce, including half a clove of roasted garlic. Sprinkle over mushroom dust, sesame seeds and spring onions.