Paper towel to cook shiitake?
I was just watching a video on the Cooking with Dog channel (great videos) over at Youtube, and at 1:36, they instruct to put a sheet of paper towel (photo attached) over boiling shiitake mushrooms. Can somebody tell me what the purpose of this might be? Is it to keep the 'shrooms submerged? The idea of the chemicals used to process the paper leaching into the cooking water does not appeal to me; I'd probably use a clean handkerchief instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWLNZz...
I think this maybe an attempt at "nimono". Japanese style simmering is called nimono. A pot covered with a drop lid is used, usually made of wood, but parchment paper can be substituted. Both the drop lid and parchment paper is round to just fit inside the pot A wood drop lid floats on the surface of the liquid, keeping the ingredients submerged.
The use of something absorbant (paper or cloth towel) should be avoided. I do not have a wood drop lid; for a longer simmer I use an appropriate sized plate for shorter simmers, I use parchment paper cut into a round.