Matsutake, pine mushrooms

 I am soooo fortunate to have great friends. 

Yesterday, I was invited to my friend the Prince P's castle for the Matsutake(pine mushroom) and hotpot.

Japanese value these mushrooms above all others because of their fresh and enticing smell, a sign of the autumn season.  Though simple to harvest, Matsutake are hard to find, causing the price to be very high. The price for matsutake in the Japanese market is highly dependent on quality, availability, and origin.  My friend on Facebook responded me back saying he saw 3 pieces of Japanese domestic Matsutake for $300!!!!!!

British Columbia is blessed with matsutake and we are having great season this year♬

Prince P said he has matsutake and great sake, so here I go...♡♡♡ and we had faaaaabulous night!!!

As you can see from the first photo, we started with Junmai-shu, Rin from Bunraku.
It was very smooth and aromatic.

Like you see on the one photo above, at the beginning we are soooo careful, making the matsutake in a small pieces but after eating soooo much, we started to eat as a big chunk!

This matsutake is nicely sweating ♡
We sear.., eat, and sip some sake♡

After we emptied Rin, Prince P had more sake for us.   One was sparkling nigori sake from Hakkaisan.   I was not sure do I like sweet sake for dinner or not but actually, this sparkling Junmai Nigori is clean and crisp with a gorgeous aroma, crisp acidity and plenty of gentle bubbles... and I loved it!!   It has the rice-lees which added nice soft sweetness but not yucky sweetness♡.

The other one is Yoshinogawa, Gokujo Ginjo. This one has good balance of dryness and sweetness.  It is aromatic.  I read some critic was saying crisp fennel and slightly sweet herbal notes.   The other said it is clean and has melon and kiwi along with a lightly toasty rice note. The same person said it has a VERY mellow impact, a full body and a rich fruitiness that plays out through the long tail.

But I am not sure...  To me it was clean, dry smooth, nice sake. lol

I read this is the personeal favorite of Koji Kawakami, 17th generation President of Yoshinogawa.

While enjoying more sake, we started to prep ourselves for a hotpot.  The Prince P put several huge pieces of Kombu, edible kelp.   Kombu is used extensively in Japanese cuisines as one of the three main ingredients needed to make dashi, a soup stock.

Anyhow, putting that much Kombu.., and a few fish meats, dried sear fish head, chicken and so on, this hot soup was doomed to be absolutely tasty.  We knew...

We put some prawns, salmon, vegetables and mushrooms, some tofu...
We were sooo wowed with the first sip of the soup. 
It was amazing♡   Absolutely fabulous!  

At the end, we put some rice and made some hotpot risotto♡

After whole matsutake and hotpot feast, we had karaoke♬ party till very late.  It was faaaabulous evening and we promised to do Sukiyaki the next weekend♡

Thank you, the Prince P and my dear friend M.  I already cannot wait for the next week!!

JudyCo Rating for Junmai-shu, Rin from Bunraku



蔵元:酒蔵文楽 埼玉県 

JudyCo Rating for  Gokujyo Yoshinogawa,  Ginjyo
蔵元からの説明:香りだけでも、味だけでも、吟醸酒とは呼べません。爽やかな吟醸香と、ふくらみのある味わいが離しがたく解け合ってはじめて、本当の吟醸酒が生まれるのです。  杜氏はこれを「香味一体」と言い、香味一体の酒は飲みあきしない、飲んでいるうちに次の手が伸びてくる、と言葉を続けます。  
「吟醸酒 極上吉乃川」は、オレンジや木蓮の花のような華やかでやさしい果実香と、ふくよかな透明感のある味わいの酒です。  よく、香りの強すぎる吟醸酒は、食前酒としては優れていても、料理と合わせるにはきつすぎると言われます。  しかし、「極上吉乃川」は香味一体のまとまりがあり、後味の切れがいいため、繊細な料理を引き立てます。ほんとうの吟醸酒であり、しかも、少しだけ特別な日にも楽しんでいただける身近な酒であること・・・。  吟醸蔵・吉乃川の粋が「吟醸酒 極上吉乃川」に生きています

蔵元:吉乃川株式会社 新潟県長岡市
原料米・麹 :   五百万石 他  
精米歩合 :  58%  
アルコール度 :  15度  
日本酒度 :  + 7  
酸度 :  1.2

JudyCo Rating for Hakkaisan, Sparkling Nigori Sake
蔵元 八海醸造 
越後杜氏 南雲 重光
純米発泡にごり酒 (爽酒)
アルコール度 14.5度 
日本酒度 -25 
酸度 1.7 
原料米 国産と書いてあるけど種類は書いていない
精米歩合 60% 
味わい 甘口