A must try for any fungi lover! I have pickled and fermented quite a few batches of mushrooms and this, by far, has been my favourite and best fermented mushroom recipe!
These mysteriously peculiar, almost alien-like, living organisms are packed with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, vitamins B, C, D, various minerals and most importantly flavour! Essential for maintaining a healthy body and a strong immune system, mushrooms are a key ingredient of any healthy diet!
For an alternative, but arguably even more delicious, way of consuming mushrooms try boosting their nutritional value even further with a little lacto-fermentation! This will juice up the mushrooms with some healthy probiotics, essential for a happy, healthy gut! (For more info on probiotics check out my other post here.) It also releases vital phytonutrients and increases the bioavailability of this superfood!
By submerging them in a delicious, salty, flavoured brine, we allow the lactic acid bacteria to grow while the bad bacteria are suppressed. This produces an amazing salty, sour mushroom pickle with a spicy, peppery kick! Ideal as a sandwich or salad topping, a stand-out side-dish or a flavoursome little snack on it’s own.
Check below for my best fermented mushroom recipe!
1. Brush/scrape off any excess dirt from the mushrooms.
2. Cut into desired size or leave whole. Want them to be no bigger than a mouthful.
3. Bring a pan of water to a simmer (about 1L – enough to cover the mushrooms). When bubbles begin to appear, add in the mushrooms and reduce the temperature to a slight simmer. We want to gently heat the mushrooms for about 15 minutes until soft and darker in colour, but not overcooked.
It is important to heat the mushrooms as they contain trace toxins that do not get removed through the fermentation process alone and can cause digestion problems. Furthermore, by heating the mushrooms we extract beneficial phytonutrients which further boost the nutritional content of the fermented mushrooms. Though not overcooking is also key as we do not want to kill-off any nutrients.
4. Whilst your mushrooms are slowly releasing the phytonutrients, peel and crush the garlic.
5. Add in half of the salt, herbs, spices and garlic into the pickling jar.
6. Once the mushrooms are done cooking, siv them out and place in to the pickling jar. Add in the rest of the herbs and spices and wait for the mushrooms and stock to cool.
7. Once cooled, pour the stock over the mushrooms making sure to completely submerge them.
8. Either weigh your mushrooms down with a heavier object (i.e. mini jar, rock) cover with a thin cloth and hairband. Or cover, but don’t seal, with a lid and every other day make sure to give the mushrooms a good mix to prevent any mould growth on the top.
9. Set aside away from the sun and let ferment for about 10-14 days. When done, they should have a good balance of salty, sour and spicy flavours with a soft and juicy texture. Once you are happy with the level of fermentation seal tight with a lid and consume within a year.
Once finished repeat the process, topping up the leftover brine with more mushrooms, salt, spices and stock/water. Try experimenting with other flavour combinations to come up with your own best fermented mushroom recipe!
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