Monday, July 16, 2018

Homemade mushroom seasoning


I admit it: I’ve never been a fan of MSG, which makes me really less than chic at the moment. 

And let me stop you right there before you send me an angry comment. 

I don’t want to hear again about how it’s only salt… I’ve listened to all the arguments and remain unmoved, no matter what its boosters say.

But mushroom seasoning? Everybody loves this, including me. 

It adds just the right touch of salt, and it amps up the flavors of whatever you’re cooking like nobody’s business.

Bottom: commercial, top: homemade
The thing is, I just can’t find it in my Chinese groceries very often. 

And if it’s hard for me to find, I’m guessing that folks who don’t live near large Chinese populations will have even a tougher time hunting it down.

What I’ve discovered, though, is that it is really easy to make. Only two ingredients are required: dried mushrooms and sea salt.

You’ll also need a good blender. And that’s it.

For this recipe I tend to rely on dried sliced black mushrooms. Since they are already sliced, this cuts down on the blender’s wear and tear. 

Commercial looks like cheesy poofs
You can use any dried mushrooms you like, as long as they have a great fragrance. Porcinis would be fabulous, or whatever looks good to you.

Do notice that the commercial mushroom seasoning is granular, while homemade is a fine powder. This means that you’ll need to use a spoon or shaker for this powder, instead of just sprinkling it into your pot.

But that’s a small price to pay for something that is so cheap, easy, and delicious.

Mushroom seasoning
Xiānggū jīng 香菇精
Chinese black mushrooms
Makes ⅔ cup | 40 g

1 heaping cup | 20 g sliced dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons | 20 g fine sea salt

1. Place the mushrooms in a dry blender. Cover the blender tightly. Blend the dried mushrooms on low speed until they are fine chunks, and then whirl these on high until you have a very fine powder. Keep the cover on the blender for a few minutes so that the powder has a chance to settle down.

2. Add the salt and pulse the blender a few times to mix. Scrape the mushroom seasoning into a resealable jar and store in the pantry.
Fine sea salt

Tips

If you like this as much as I do, devote a whole bag of dried mushroom slices to this recipe. Just weigh the mushrooms and use an equal weight of fine sea salt.

Iodized salt is not recommended, as it has a bitter taste. If you prefer kosher salt, just substitute that for the sea salt, as the measurements should be pretty similar.

3 comments:

  1. Just in time. I was looking to buy more mushroom seasoning and discovered I have dried mushrooms :)

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  2. Wonderful idea, will put on to-try list....! Strange to see the mushrooms are called 絲 when everyone can clearly see they are 片 ?

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  3. Mmmm. What do you use it for? I can see sprinkling on a pork chop, or over bok choy perhaps. What else?

    I LOVE your blog!

    ReplyDelete