Glossary - Ingredients

Matsutake mushrooms


These luxury mushrooms, highly-valued as an autumnal ingredient in Japan, are often prepared and eaten to maximize their distinct aroma and flavor

What is matsutake mushrooms?

Matsutake mushrooms are among the most prized mushrooms in all of Japan for its unique aroma. They primarily grow on Japanese red pines in the wild, and they have proven quite resistant to cultivation attempts. They are used in various dishes that utilize their unique aroma such as charcoal grilling or "dobinmushi" (steam-boiled in an earthenware pot), clear soup broths, or in mixed rice. Matsutake mushrooms grown domestically in Japan have a particularly strong scent.

Nutrition facts

Rich in dietary fiber, which strengthen the gut's microbiome, and vitamin D, which helps keep bones strong. Methyl cinnamate, which imparts matsutake mushrooms with their distinctive aroma, and matsutake alcohol are known to help stimulate the appetite and calm the nerves.

How to storage: not to waste the ingredient

Consuming matsutake mushrooms within two days of purchase is recommended to best enjoy their distinctive aroma. Avoid rinsing with water before storing to help prevent bruising or a loss in flavor and aroma. To store for 3-4 days, separate each mushroom one by one, wrap in paper towels, and then refrigerate in a vegetable storage container or storage bag.


There is a poem containing a reference to matsutake mushrooms in Japan's oldest collection of waka poetry called the "Manyoshu" compiled during the Nara period (710-794). The nobility of the Kamakura period (1185-1333) were also known to go on matsutake mushroom hunts, making these fungi a true symbol of autumn in Japan for centuries.

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