Native to China, Japan and Korea, Enoki mushroom are typically long and thin with tiny caps on one end. There are several varieties, the most widely known being that of the off-white, light brown and golden colors. Originally grown on Enoki or Chinese Hackberry trees, the white variety commonly sold in supermarkets are usually cultivated in bottles, thereby leaving the bottled impression at the base of the mushroom bunch. The wild variety exhibits the brown and gold hues, as well as a thicker stalk.
Most commonly used in soups in Asian cuisine, more modern usage across all of Asia includes using Enoki mushroom in salads and stir-fries. Enoki’s mild flavor lends itself to absorbing whatever other ingredients are used along with it. Enoki mushroom are sold fresh and bottled. When purchasing Enoki mushroom fresh, it’s important to look for a clean texture and firm caps, avoiding any sign of sliminess, which indicates they;re past due their usage time. Unlike other popular Asian mushrooms, Enoki’s life span even refrigerated is not long so it’s important to use it fairly soon after purchasing.
Throughout Asian history, physicians believed Enoki shares many of the health benefits of other Asian mushrooms, including its overall immune boosting properties, anti-cancer abilities, aiding in liver diseases, stomach issues, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and anti-aging. Enoki was and is often used in Asian herbal remedies/tonics for cancer patients as well as general health boosters. Low in calories and high in nutritional content, Enoki mushroom has long been incorporated into daily meals in Asia.