For centuries, Enoki mushrooms have been considered by the Japanese to be an anti-cancer, anti-aging food. And Nagano, Japan (the center of enoki cultivation) has an extremely low rate of cancer compared to other regions.
Now, research by National University of Singapore shows that eating enoki (or golden needle) mushrooms can destroy 95% of cancer cells by boosting our immune system.
According to Professor Chua Kaw Yan who is researching this mushroom, the stalk of the mushroom contains a large quantity of a protein which interacts with the cells in our immune system resulting in production of a number of cytokines that are responsible for the regulation of our immune functions.
American scientists have since run tests on this particular type of mushroom extract with blood, done outside human body. Results show that mushroom extract is able to destroy cancer cells.
The mushroom is most frequently prepared by steaming. Cooking time should be less than 3 minutes, or the healing property would greatly diminish.
How to eat enoki mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked, just make sure to rinse thoroughly and trim off the roots at the base of the cluster. Add them to salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta sauces, and stir-fried rice and vegetable dishes. To retain the delicate flavor of the mushrooms, add them at the end of the cooking process.
Buying and storage tips
Select mushrooms with firm, white, shiny caps. Avoid purchasing enoki mushrooms with slimy or brownish stalks. They keep up to 14 days in the refrigerator if stored in a paper bag.