Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society KPMS: Agaricus Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society

KPMS Mushroom of the Month for January 2011

Botanical: Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis
Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis
Common: Amethyst Laccaria
Description: Cap 1-7 cm, broadly convex, becoming nearly flat, often with a central depression, even or inrolled margin, nearly bald or finely hairy-scaly, deep purple fading to brown; Gills Attached to the stem or mildly decurrent, widely spaced, thick and sometimes appearing waxy, dark purple, fading to lilac; Stem 1.5-12 cm long, 0.5-1.5 cm thick, equal or slightly swollen at the base, strongly grooved and sometimes twisted, usually coarsely hairy or scaly, purplish or paler, with purple to lilac basal mycelium; Smell & Taste mild; Spore print white.
Habitat: Scattered to gregarious on ground in conferous forests, fall.
Primary keys: Purple cap & gills fading to brown; indentated cap; shaggy & grooved purple stem.
Edibility: Good. Not much flavor, but delightfully crispy/crunchy. Only the cap is used since the stem is too tough to eat.
Notes: The long tough hairy purple streaked stem, waxy/crisp purple cap & gills with cap indentation make this an easy mushroom to identify. Young specimens are dark purple but quickly fade to light brown with age and rain.

Recipe: Chinese Meatball Soup

1 lb. ground pork
4 green onions, minced
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 C. Amethyst laccaria caps, minced
1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, chopped and sauteed dry
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. Chinese wine (shao xing)
dash white pepper
salt to taste
vegetable oil
4 C. chicken broth
2-inch piece ginger, cut into thin slices
2 T. soy sauce
dash sesame oil
1/2 t. sugar
1 T. Chinese wine (shao xing)
1/2 small can water chestnuts, matchsticked
1/4 C. carrots, julienned
1/4 C. snow peas, cut small diagonally
1/4 C. baby sweetcorn, cut small
3 green onions, slivered diagonally

Simmer together broth, ginger slices, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and wine for 15-30 minutes. Remove ginger slices and keep warm.

Thoroughly combine pork, minced green onion, ginger, mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil, wine, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Shape into 1" meatballs and roll in cornstarch.

Fry batches in oil loosely in large skillet over medium-high heat, turning frequently until evenly browned. Remove and drain.

Add meatballs, water chestnuts, carrots, peas and corn to the broth. Bring to a very low simmer for 15 minutes.

Ladle into serving bowl and top with slivered green onions.