One of the reasons why I am studying plant pathology is because I love mushrooms. We used to have a mushroom farm way back in college and I helped in preparing the spawn and “planting” then in plots of dried banana leaves. We used to culture the species Volvariella volvacea or commonly called straw mushrooms. A pity that in the tropics they easily rot and don’t last as long. Another popular cultivated species are the oyster mushrooms or Pleurotus ostreatus which has a woody smell.
During the rainy season, however, mushrooms of the genus Termitomyces sprout from the grounds. These are wild mushrooms that grow on anthills and termite hills hence the genus name. Local people believed that these mushrooms were brought about by thunders, since they usually sprout during rains and thunderstorms. My professor in mycology (the study of mushrooms) told us that it is a very difficult mushroom to cultivate hence we rely on our supply of these mushrooms during the rainy months of August and September. These mushrooms are usually gathered in the morning, skewered in coconut midrib and sold by streethawkers. In Laguna, we call the local name is mamarang. It is cooked simply by sauteing in tomatoes and onions. I’m not sure if these mushrooms are found in other regions in the Philippines.
I posted before about the oyster mushrooms that grew on our mango tree, and which I didn’t eat. This time, I was eagerly waiting for the mamarang season. Last Sunday, one of the help found these mushrooms growing near the taro plants in the backyard. I wasted no time in using them as spring roll filling (recipe later) and as omelete filling. I’m hoping we’d find more next weekend.
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mamarang, chopped
1 tsp bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Since mamarang grows on the ground, clean the mushrooms by gently wiping away the soil attached. Chop the mushrooms including the cap and stems (or stipe, in scientific terms). Saute mushrooms in garlic and bell pepper until mushroom has softened. Whisk eggs in a bowl and add the sauted mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. In a pan, heat oil and fry the eggs until done.
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