Apr 5

Squirrel’s Sweet & Sour Mushrooms

in Japanese, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Sauces & Condiments, Side Dish

Basket of Crimini Mushrooms

Although Squirrel would make an excellent Nutella Spokesperson, she would make an equally stellar Mushroom Ambassador.  I have to be careful when I take her grocery shopping because if I go past the mushrooms and I don’t put any in our basket, she will insist that I get some.  You see, Squirrel has a thing for mushrooms—uncooked, cooked, it doesn’t matter, she will inhale them all.

Squirrel Mushroom Montage

This dish was inspired by a Japanese dish called Nameko no Mizore Ae (Nameko Mushrooms in “Sleet” Sauce).  In this dish, Japanese nameko mushrooms are briefly blanched and then marinated in a bit of soy sauce for a few minutes.  Then a sauce is made by adding amazu (a Japanese sweet and sour sauce) to grated daikon radish until it looks like semi-melted snow (thus the name “sleet” sauce).  The mushrooms are then tossed in the sauce and served alone or with salt-grilled fish.  I bought a container of crimini mushrooms a few days ago, due to the insistent urgings of Squirrel, and decided to make a dish based on Nameko no Mizore Ae.  I made some amazu, then while it was cooling, I cleaned and sliced the crimini mushrooms,

Sliced crimini mushrooms

sauteed them in a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce,

Saute the sliced mushrooms

and then tossed the finished mushrooms with a bit of the amazu.

Amazu (Japanese sweet & sour sauce)

The recipe I always use for amazu makes about 1/2 cup of sauce, but you only need 1 tablespoon of amazu for these mushrooms.  The great thing about amazu is that it will keep fresh for at least 4 weeks if you store it in a covered glass/ceramic container in the refrigerator.  Amazu is used in many Japanese sunomono (“vinegared things”) dishes.

Squirrel eating sweet & sour mushrooms with rice

The mushrooms were delicious.  Squirrel ate half of them by herself on some plain white rice.  They would also be good with salt-grilled fish, roasted chicken, or as a topping for tofu steak.

Sweet & Sour Crimini Mushrooms

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Sweet and Sour Crimini Mushrooms

Makes 4 servings

Amazu (Sweet and Sour Sauce):
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
8 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon amazu

1. Make the amazu: Combine the amazu ingredients in a small saucepan and set the saucepan over low heat.  Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon and cook the sauce until the sugar and salt melt (the sauce will become clear).  Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool slightly.  Allow the unused sauce to cool to room temperature before storing it.

2. Make the mushrooms: While the amazu is cooling, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.  Add the mushrooms and toss them for several minutes in the skillet/wok until they absorb the oil and start to brown.  Add the soy sauce and continue sauteing the mushrooms until most/all of the soy sauce has been absorbed and the mushrooms are cooked through.  Remove from the heat and transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of the amazu to the mushrooms and toss.  Serve with fish, tofu, rice, etc.


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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren April 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

She is SO precious Rachael! I love the look on her face as she digs into the mushrooms =D. They look pretty darn delicious too!


Maria April 5, 2010 at 9:17 am

I am a mushroom lover too. I will have to try the sweet and sour sauce. Yum!
Squirrel is a doll! I had a great time at lunch the other day, thanks for taking the time to meet up. You are even more wonderful in person:)


Maggy April 5, 2010 at 9:21 am

Maggy + Mushrooms = Joy too! Haha. I love these, a simple recipe that looks delicious.


Sarah April 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

Adorable! And the mushrooms look delicious… mmmm!!


Missy J April 5, 2010 at 9:26 am

Mmm… mushrooms are one of MY favorite things too! Those look absolutely divine. I must make some!


Jamie @ My Baking Addiction April 5, 2010 at 9:36 am

Squirrel is adorable! We love mushrooms around here too…great looking recipe!


Jen @ How To: Simplify April 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

What a great post! I love the photos!


Cookin' Canuck April 5, 2010 at 9:38 am

Nutella and mushrooms as favorite foods? Now that’s a girl after my own heart. This looks like a wonderful way to enjoy a bowl of mushrooms.


Fuji Nana April 5, 2010 at 10:26 am

Now all you need to do is come up with a recipe that COMBINES Nutella and mushrooms. Sounds delicious, no?


Eleanor Hoh (WokStar) April 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

Squirrel is a doll, how do you do any work when she’s there to entertain? Love mushrooms in any shape or form, so this dish looks simple to make, thnx for sharing.


Tracy April 5, 2010 at 10:33 am

Love these mushrooms!!


Jamie April 5, 2010 at 10:42 am

That’s my kinda girl! And adorable to boot! Lucky you! And lucky her for having a mom that will whip up something so fantastic! Yum!


Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle April 5, 2010 at 10:46 am

Want some…and the mushrooms look good too! Nice that you have a child model onboard – Squirrel is perfect; cute AND an adventurous eater!


Kathleen April 5, 2010 at 10:49 am

They look delish! I’m really liking your blog, especially since my husband and I have a soft spot for Japanese culture and cooking. Plus we both have the same font in our blog headers!

I’m following you now to keep up on all this goodness. Thanks for sharing!


Michelle April 5, 2010 at 11:01 am

WOW..usually young children don’t like the texture of mushrooms! You have a special little girl and she is so cute!


Jennie April 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

What a cool kid. Isabella scowls everytime she sees mushrooms in a dish and says I’m trying to trick her into eating them, even though they are plainly there for her to eat or push to the side if she so chooses.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

@Jennie, I’m giving all the credit to Japan! Mushrooms are in just about every single jar of baby food in Japan, and they have some many different kinds in the markets, that I was always including them in what we ate. She didn’t stand a chance. You sneaky mom, trying to pull the wool over Isabella’s eyes. Sheesh! :D


Kaitlin April 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

That is so cute! I wish I liked mushrooms when I was her age. Until recently I had no idea what I was missing out on! This sounds really good – I’d love to try it!


Sarah April 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

My daughter has always loved mushrooms, too. Always astonished the produce ladies at our local Safeway when, as a tot of 18 months or so, she would happily munch away at an opened box of them. Right there in the store.


Jenny Flake April 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm

What a beautiful post Rachel!! Those mushrooms look so good!!


Roberta April 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Squirrel is so cute :D These mushrooms look so yummy…can’t wait to try them. Thanks, Roberta


kellypea April 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm

You’ve got to love a precious little girl who will bite into a raw mushroom like it was a strawberry — or any little one for that matter! This recipe sounds wonderful and a nice diversion from our usual olive oil, shallots, and garlic.


tigerfish April 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Look! She is biting through those mushrooms like a soft lollipop! ;p


sippitysup April 6, 2010 at 7:35 am

I love mushrooms, but raising a child who loves makes you one super foodie Mom! GREG


Lyndsey April 6, 2010 at 11:33 am

I can’t believe I missed this post! I love those pictures of Squirrel! So much personality! The mushrooms look great! I know it won’t be long before my daughter will try them. The other day I heard her tell her dad on the phone when he was on his way home and asked what she was doing..”I’m snacking on tofu” That was thanks to your Tofu Steak recipe, but I had to laugh to myself when I heard her say that.

I love trying your recipes!


Arlene April 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Rachel, I just made the sauce and mushrooms. Do you have any other favorite recipe using this sauce as well?

Thank you, and luv your site


Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} April 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

These sound delicious, and what a great little eater you have there! You should certainly be a proud mama!


Sarah, Maison Cupcake April 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm

These look amazing, my 2 yr old is crazy about mushrooms too.


Pati J April 7, 2010 at 8:36 am

I looooooove your photos!!! Won’t you come to DC and teach a photography class? Also, squirrel is absolutely adorable. I want to get her together with my monsters. See what messy meal they can come up with… And maybe, just maybe, she will get them into eating mushrooms… Love your posts. xoxo Pati.


Ali @ Fat to Fit April 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

These look so amazing! I’m making slow cooker hot and sour soup for dinner tonight (slow cooker challenge, of course) and I’m going to give these a try. Unfortunately, my little girl isn’t quite as interested in mushrooms! :)


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction April 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Adorable! If only all kids loved mushrooms as much as Squirrel… Or maybe if only they had tried them! Looks like a tasty dish.


[email protected] April 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I absolutely LOVE this recipe Rachael. So simple, so flavorful plus, it’s Squirrel’s favourite so it MUST be good!


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