Chanterelle Mushrooms with a Corn Sauce and Asian Pear Slaw – Recipe

Chanterelle Mushrooms, Corn Sauce, Asian Pear Slaw
Chanterelle Mushrooms, Corn Sauce, Asian Pear Slaw

I love chanterelles with corn, and I love corn with ginger. Using the transitive property of delicio-algebraics, I determined that I'd like chanterelles with ginger. Heck, why not all three together?

Grant Achatz has famously made a corn sauce in sheet form, by cooking pureed corn kernels until the natural starch thickens the juice, and then freezing it in a thin sheet, to be draped over your completed dish. I used the first part of this idea here, but skip the potentially hairy part of freezing the sauce and then trying to get it off of the wax paper. Instead, I just served the sauce directly. It has a lovely, velvety texture and an intense flavor of sweet corn accented with ginger.

The quick slaw of Asian pear with red onion and sesame oil add a nice bit of crunch and sweetness. You could take this element and serve it with almost any kind of fritter or even on a fusion taco with good results.

Chanterelle Mushrooms with a Corn Sauce and Asian Pear Slaw
Vegetarian and gluten-free; vegan if you omit or substitute for the butter
Serves 4 as an appetizer
30 minutes 

  • kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup finely julienned Asian pear (aka apple-pear)
  • 1 tablespoon finely julienned red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
  • flaky sea salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt)!) or other finishing salt of your choice
  • a few leaves of flat-leaf parsley
  1. In a mini food processor or blender, puree the living heck out of the corn kernels, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Let it run a good couple of minutes. Strain the resulting mixture very thoroughly, using either several layers of cheesecloth or multiple passes through first a coarse and then a very fine sieve. Be sure to extract and reserve as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  2. Put the corn liquid and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. As soon as it comes up to temperature, you will see it begin to thicken rapidly. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Take a spoonful and allow to cool slightly. It should have the texture of pudding. If it is too thick, add water, a tablespoon at a time. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over a high flame. Add the mushrooms, season with big pinch of salt, and fry, stirring occasionally, until tender and well browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss together the Asian pear, red onion, sesame oil, lime juice, and a big pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. To serve, whisk the corn sauce, then put about 2 tablespoons of it in the center of each of 4 small plates, spreading it slightly with the back of a spoon. Top with 1/4 of the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of the Asian pear slaw, a few flakes of sea salt, and a few leaves of parsley. Serve immediately.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, November 8th, 2010 in Experiments, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan or Modifiable.

16 Responses to “Chanterelle Mushrooms with a Corn Sauce and Asian Pear Slaw – Recipe”

  1. November 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Lovely recipe. By Asian pear do you mean Nashi pear? (the round one)?

  2. November 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Looks beautiful Michael – as always! Hope you are well!

  3. Michael Natkin
    November 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    I'd never heard them called "Nashi" before, but googling, yep that appears to be the same thing.

  4. John
    November 9, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    I have to try this — it sounds great.

    But corn season in the Northeast is just about over (we had our first snowfall yesterday!), which led me to thinking that maybe I could get something like the corn sauce by performing a similar exercise with corn grits. (If you cook grits with, say, 30% too much water, and then let it cool, you get exactly this sort of thickened “gel” as a result.) If I get around to trying it, I’ll let you know how it works out.

  5. Michael Natkin
    November 9, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    I'm afraid that corn grits won't give you such a good flavor, even if you strain them to get rid of the grit. (Though of course you could serve the mushrooms over actual yummy grits and that would be delicious). You can do this with good frozen corn though and it should work fine.

  6. Leslie
    November 10, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    Wow, Michael. Been following the blog for a couple years now. Is that right?

    Your food keeps getting more beautiful and interesting. You are growing by leaps and bounds as a chef. Congratulations!

  7. Michael Natkin
    November 10, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Thanks, Leslie… you are very kind!

  8. November 15, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    Every element of this dish sounds absolutely wonderful! It’s beautiful and is right up my alley!

  9. November 15, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    This is stunning dish! I have bookmarked this recipe. Thanks!

  10. November 21, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    This looks so elegant and delicious! What a beautiful recipe, can’t wait to cook this for a special someone.

  11. John
    November 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Tried this for the family this evening. I used frozen corn. Hint to others: throw it in the microwave enough to defrost it before chopping in the mini-chopper. (Although what you get when you chop it frozen is kind of neat, and SHOULD be useful for SOMEthing). I also had to use green onions rather than red because I forgot to buy the red ones.

    General review from the family: this is REALLY good. Nice balance of flavors and textures, and the unusual mix of flavors works really well. I think it would have been even better with a better Asian pear — the one I used didn’t have quite the rich flavor I’m used to.

    It’s a little fussy as a recipe — several steps, waiting for stuff to cool, etc. — so it won’t go into the “short rotation,” but I’ll definitely save it as a “fancy stuff for a dinner party” kind of thing.

    Small error in the recipe: you call for toasted black sesame seeds, but don’t say what to do with them (but I figured out I should sprinkle them on before the parsley).

  12. Michael Natkin
    November 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    Hey Spike – thanks for the review on this one! I know it is a bit of an unusual recipe, with the corn sauce, so it is cool that you decided to give it a rip, and I'm glad you liked how it turned out. Isn't it kind of fun watching the corn thicken itself?

  13. Mike PDX
    August 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I made my wife a “veg” 4 course tasting last night for her Bday. We used three of your recipes and one from a local restaurant. This was the final, and best dish. I made it following your recipe verbatim and it was friggin awesome.

    We’re not true vegetarians, but your website sure make it an attractive option! Well done!

  14. Michael Natkin
    August 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    That's music to my ears! What were the other two recipes? And what was the one from the PDX resto?

    Michael Natkin

    Find me:

    The latest from my blog, Herbivoracious: Peach and Sour Cream Buckle – Recipe

  15. Mike PDX
    August 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    We started with one of your recent recipes – watermelon gazpacho (fantastic take on a classic). After that the shaved summer squash composed salad (almost all from our garden!). The third was from the Portland restaurant Noble Rot. It was a sweet/sour marinated eggplant with red onions – I was trying to move the meal in an asian direction in prep for the recipe above. Here’s the link: link to portlandmonthlymag.com

    After that…. Dreyer’s ice cream!! (it’s a fam favorite, and after 4 courses I was too tired to make a dessert!!)

  16. Mike PDX
    August 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    I should add, my only regret is that I didn’t do well including a protein. Luckily after four courses of veggies we were full anyway!

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