These mushrooms are so dang good. We like to serve them over rice with burdock and dandelion greens, but they make a fine compliment to many a meal. Try them in a bowl of ramen, or as a side to roasted vegetables or meats. You can eat them straight out of the jar with a fork, too. Not that that ever happens, around here…
Recipe adapted from Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient Methods, Modern Meals.
Makes about a pint and a half.
Prepare the mushrooms. Rinse them under cool water, and slice them to your taste.
Because I like to tell the difference between the two types of mushrooms once they are in the murky brine, I slice the two varieties in different ways.
Shitakes are sliced into 1/4” slices, from the center through the stem.
Criminis are quartered from the cap down so that each piece has a triangular section of stem and a piece of the cap.
This is pure nerdery, however; slice them into neat pieces that you would like to eat.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Working in batches, add enough mushrooms to cover the surface of the water. Simmer the mushrooms for 30 seconds, and remove with a slotted spoon to drain. The remaining water will have absorbed color and flavor from the mushrooms; use it to cook pasta or rice in, or as a base for broths and soups.
Prepare the pickling solution. Mince the garlic finely, and grate or mince the ginger. Quarter the leek lengthwise, and slice it finely.
In a large jar, combine the remaining ingredients, whisking well to incorporate the miso.
Add the mushrooms and lid the jar.
Shake to coat all the mushrooms with brine.
Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to a month.
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