Where to find Straw Mushrooms (pref: fresh or dried... canned only if absolutely necessary) in central NJ / NYC area
By "straw mushrooms" I DO NOT mean Enokis--
I mean the critters that can be found here:
They are darker at the peaks of the caps and gradually become lighter colored toward the edges. I've never seen them served in restaurants here on the east coast, but when I was in California, they were all over the place. They have a nice meaty taste and aren't nearly as woodsy tasting as Shiitakes.
Are any grocers or suppliers in the Plainfield, NJ/07060 ZIP code area (or in the NYC area) that carry them fresh or dried?
Thanks in Advance,
I've never seen these dry. I have seen canned many times. They're usually available "whole", or "pieces" (slightly imperfect is what they mean). Canned are readily available at most supermarkets. Asian markets are guaranteed to have different canned varieties.
Flushing might have what you're looking for (dried)...right around Main Street and 41st Road. There's a store that has teas and dried mushrooms of all sorts. Hounds, please chime in with some help here please. Flushing or China Town have to be your best bet.
I saw them fresh this morning in the AFC store on Route 27 in Edison - a bit south of the intersection with Plainfield Avenue.
A few miles closer, but less likely to have them available, is the Hong Kong Supermarket at the corner of Park Avenue and Oak Tree Road in South Plainfield.
In either case, they're labeled "fresh" and seem to be a higher quality than the canned, but are clearly preserved or somehow reconstituted.
In this neighborhood, they show up in dishes all the time.
Otherwise, head farther south on Route 27 to the Great Wall Supermarket, they have the best selection of dried and preserved vegetables around.
As far as "Cheese Boy's" reccomendation of Manhattan or Flushing, I'm dubious. I was in Manhattan Chinatown on Friday and (as always) saw nothing with the selection or depth of stores here in New Jersey. Flushing has some Chinese dried item speciality shops, but it's probably easier and cheaper to find the stuff in NJ. Remember, the Chinese population of central NJ is huge and the stores that market to them are really impressive.