Enokitake, also known as enoki mushrooms and Flammulina velutipes, are thin mushrooms that range from red to white and are most commonly used in Japanese cuisine. These mushrooms can be cultivated at home and have a delicate but distinctive taste. Home growers typically grow enoki mushrooms in small bottles on an aged hardwood sawdust medium. Enjoy enoki mushrooms on a salad, in a stir-fry or in a soup.
Sterilize your growing bottles with hot water and an antibacterial soap. Rinse well so no trace of soap remains on the bottle.
Mix the enoki spawn well with the aged growing medium. Pack the mixture into the jars and store in a place where the temperature is between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity level is between 90 and 100 percent.
Allow the enoki two weeks to spawn, though the process may take up to a month. You will know they have spawned when you see small roots, or mycelium, appearing. Wait until the entire medium is covered with these roots.
Move the bottles to a place where the temperature is between 50 and 55 F. The level of humidity does not matter. Lower the amount of CO2 the mushrooms get by 80 to 90 percent, if possible. This forces the mycelium to form fruiting bodies.
Harvest your mushrooms when mature, about 90 days after you began the process.
David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.