After a brutally hot summer, it’s finally turning cooler, making it time to enjoy what the Japanese call aki no mikaku (autumn’s culinary pleasures).
Among fall’s many fabulous flavors, mushrooms top my list. These run the gamut from wildly expensive matsutake to more reasonably priced fresh shiitake, buna shimeji (brown beech mushroom) and maitake (hen-of-the-woods mushroom) that regularly appear in grocery stores at this time of year.
Sometimes, the sheer variety in Japanese mushrooms can make it tough to choose, but one dish that celebrates all kinds of wonderfully woodsy fungi is dobin mushi. The dish is named after the teapot-shaped dobin vessel in which the mushrooms are steamed and served.