I have an affinity for messy sandwiches. If I’m not perplexed by how exactly I’m supposed to eat them, I’m not interested. Sure, I can get down with a polite finger sandwich and I’ll never turn down a pressed picnic situation like a muffuletta. But I love a juicy burger, a slippery BLT, and a towering hoagie. I want a “napkin-mandatory” sort of sandwich and today’s Teriyaki Mushroom Melt fits the bill perfectly. The word “saucy” is the aptest description for this sandwich. So let’s talk about it!
“Balanced” is another less sexy descriptive word that suits this sando. This sandwich features meaty slabs of King oyster and cremini mushrooms browned and simmered in a rich from-scratch teriyaki sauce. The shrooms are then piled high on a brioche bun slathered with miso butter. The mushrooms are topped with melty Swiss cheese and a crown of finely shredded red cabbage. The mushrooms are a salty/sweet fantasy. The cheese brings a pleasant nuttiness and a delightfully gooey texture. The bun brings an extra hit of richness and the perfect sponge for soaking up the mushroom’s juices. And finally, the cabbage delivers light refreshment and crunch to the proceedings. This sandwich hits all the right notes without overwhelming any of them. So let’s make it!
Start off by chopping your mushrooms. You will need a lot of mushrooms for this. People may judge you at the grocery store checkout. But do we care about that? No. Slice your king oyster mushrooms into 1/4 of an inch thick slices and chop your cremini mushrooms a little more haphazardly. Think of the slices of beef you would find in a cheese steak or a French dip and try to emulate that with your king oyster mushroom slices.
Now, for the kind of time-consuming part, browning the mushrooms. We want a nice sear, so crowding the pan is a no-go. That means we have to work in batches, which is kind of monotonous. Put a podcast on and enjoy the quiet calm that comes with mono-tasking. Once the mushrooms are browned, pour all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pile all of the mushrooms back into the skillet and pour the sauce over top. Bring the sauce up to a spirited simmer and let it go for 15-20 minutes. The mushrooms should be glossy and the sauce should’ve reduced significantly.
While the mushrooms are simmering, you can tackle the remaining components starting with the miso butter. Make sure you start with softened butter or this is going to require a lot more forearm strength than you’d like. Also, make sure your butter is unsalted. Miso pats an umami-rich, salty punch, so we don’t need the extra salt. We’re also going to add sliced scallions to the butter because when are alliums not welcome? Mix everything together with a fork. This will require some light mashing and whisking. And yes, this is why you should start with softened butter.
Now, for the fun part – building the sandwich. Start by splitting your hoagie buns. I used brioche buns but feel free to use whatever variety of bun speaks to you. Slather the buns with the miso butter and pop them under the broiler. As with everything broiler-related, keep an eye on the buns because they can and will burn if left unattended. Once the buns are golden, add a layer of the mushrooms to the bottom bun. Split a slice of Swiss cheese and drape both halves on top of the mushrooms. Add another layer of mushrooms followed by another layer of cheese. Finish the sandwich with a mountain of red cabbage and place the top bun on top. And that’s your Teriyaki Mushroom Melt done!
That’s this sandwich in a nutshell. It’s surprisingly simple given its appearance. And you can make the mushrooms and the miso butter in advance. Just make sure you let the butter come back up to room temperature before buttering your buns. Hope you give this umami bomb a shot!
Teriyaki Mushroom Melt with Red Cabbage
- 1 Large Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 mandoline
- 1 Small Baking Sheet
- 7-8 king oyster mushrooms sliced
- 454g (1lb) cremini mushrooms sliced
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- ½ cup mirin
- ½ cup sake
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp white miso
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
Teriyaki Mushroom Melts
- 4 hoagie buns
- 1 batch Miso Butter see above
- 1 batch Teriyaki Mushrooms see above
- 8 slices Swiss cheese cut in half diagonally
- 2 cups red cabbage shaved on a mandoline
For the Teriyaki Mushrooms
- Heat the neutral oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the king oyster mushrooms and the cremini mushrooms. ** Transfer both to a plate and set aside.7-8 king oyster mushrooms, 454g (1lb) cremini mushrooms, 2 tbsp neutral oil
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk to combine the mirin, sake, and soy sauce. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and pour the sauce over top. Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce it to a lively simmer. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are glossy and the sauce has reduced by more than half.½ cup mirin, ½ cup sake, ½ cup soy sauce
- Take the mushrooms off of the heat and stir in the sesame oil and seeds. Keep warm until ready to serve.1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp black sesame seeds
For the Butter
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and, using a fork, mash and whip everything together until a cohesive mixture forms. Set aside.¼ cup unsalted butter, 2 tsp white miso, 1 scallion
For the Melts
- Split the hoagie buns and slather both sides with the miso butter. Arrange the buns butter side up on a small baking sheet and place them under the broiler. Cook until golden. ***4 hoagie buns, 1 batch Miso Butter
- Top the bottom buns with some of the teriyaki mushrooms. Arrange the two halves of one slice of Swiss cheese on top. Add another layer of mushrooms and another layer of cheese. Finish with a pile of cabbage and place the top bun on top. Serve immediately.1 batch Teriyaki Mushrooms, 8 slices Swiss cheese, 2 cups red cabbage