Cook your enoki!

The enoki, or Flammulina velutipes, is an “exotic” edible mushroom that you can acquire at most regional specialty food stores. They’re pretty interesting because the kinds used for consumption are morphologically different from the wild version (image below) due to being grown in a high CO2 environment.

However, there is current concern that enoki sourced from abroad are not packaged using the same health and safety criteria that we have here in the US. This is believed to be the reason for Listeria contamination experienced recently in North America (US and Canada).

Infection, contamination, and/or poisoning from the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is largely the result of eating contaminated foods. These foods are mostly raw foods that include dairy, fish, and vegetables. To avoid infection from Listera contaminated food, it is recommended that you wash and cook your food at temperatures of at least 165°F.

So cooking your enoki is recommended, as it is for all other edible mushrooms. Cooking enhances the flavor of many mushrooms specifically by removing much of the moisture content, which concentrates the flavors and caramelizes the sugars.