Adventures In Pickling: Shiitake Mushrooms from Momofuku
I was flipping through the Momofuku book last week trying to find an interesting new recipe. While many of the recipes in the book require either a lot of time or a lot of ingredients, I think I found the easiest one: pickled shiitake mushrooms. I happened to go to Ming's the next day, so I picked up a big bag of dried shiitakes. I have to say, the dried shiitakes I got a Ming's were some of the best I've ever bought: really large caps, not just a bunch of mushroom pieces.
First, I rehydrated about a 4 cups of mushrooms. I think there might have been a typo in the book, as it called for "4 cups about 1/3 oz of dried mushrooms." Clearly, 4 cups of dried shiitakes weighed a lot more than 1/3 oz. I covered the mushrooms in hot tap water for 15 minutes. After the steeping was done, I used kitchen shears to cut the stems off of all of the mushrooms (you can save the stems for making vegetable stock).
I sliced the mushroom caps into 1/8 inch strips and placed them in a 4-quart pot. Next time I think I'll keep the mushroom caps whole, I think they'll be easier to eat and probably look a little nicer too.
|Steeped and sliced|
After the mixture cooled, I packed the mushrooms into a quart-sized mason jar and then added enough liquid to cover. The pickled shiitakes were ready to eat immediately.
These pickles had a really intense flavor. The equal parts sugar and light soy sauce resulted in a really balanced sweet and salty flavor. The sherry vinegar added a significant bite, and the acidity level really made eating these very easy. Because the mushrooms absorb so much liquid, when you bite down on them, they burst with briny goodness.
I'll definitely be snacking on these pickles over the next few weeks.
The Bottom Line
Difficulty: 3/10, just a bit of trimming and slicing mushrooms and peeling ginger (use a spoon!).
Best left to professionals? If you can get a good deal on shiitakes, these there's no reason not to try this.
Cost: The shiitakes were about $5, the other ingredients probably totally around $5-$7.
Special equipment? None.