|Nutritional Information (per serving)|
View full nutrition label
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Saturated fat 0g||0%|
|Total sugar 3g|
|Vitamin C 0 mg||1 %|
|Calcium 4 mg||0%|
|Iron 0 mg||1 %|
|Potassium 96 mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food portion contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.|
(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
I first ate juicy, sweet-salty, soy-pickled shiitake mushrooms at Kyoto Station as part of a vegetarian bento meal with soba noodles, tofu, and vegetables. I was so taken with their spicy, funky flavor and meaty chew that I started making them again and again after I returned from Japan.
There's always a jar of it in my fridge to garnish rice bowls, add to salads, or even add to chicken meatballs, meatloaf, or as a pre-dinner snack. A little work and these Quickles are ready to serve as an umami bomb in my fridge whenever I need a little savory kick in a dish.
How to make pickled shiitake mushrooms
Start with large, high-quality dried shiitake mushrooms with thick caps. Asian markets are where you'll find the best selection and prices. I find that the dried “gourmet” shiitake mushrooms in grocery stores are rather puny and overpriced.
Soak the mushrooms in boiling hot water until they soften – this makes it easier to remove the tough stems and cut them into bite-sized pieces. You also use some of the soaking liquid to make the brine.
Next, simmer them in a brine with regular soy sauce (nothing fancy needed here), sugar, and a vinegar of your choice. I use Chinese black vinegar, which tastes similar to English-style malt vinegar, but you can also use white or sherry wine vinegar, or even apple cider vinegar if you prefer. For extra flavor, I add aromatics like sliced ginger, whole coriander seeds, and yellow mustard seeds.
How to use pickled shiitake mushrooms
They are ready to eat in a day and last for at least a month. Try them on rice bowls or ramen, sliced into cucumber salad, in fried rice, or as a happy hour snack with toothpicks added to dry cocktails – a nice sake-based martini comes to mind.
Tips for Making Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms
- How to choose shiitake mushrooms– Choose large, thick-capped dried shiitake mushrooms. The best mushrooms have a white, star-shaped pattern on the cap. Look for it in Asian markets.
- Make it gluten free– To make the recipe gluten-free, substitute gluten-free tamari like San-J.
- Add heat– To make spicy pickles, add a small, thinly sliced Serrano chili pepper to the jar and shake to distribute evenly once cooled.
These pickles can be made up to 1 month in advance.
“All I can say is: WOW! These pickled shiitakes were incredibly delicious. I love the juicy, salty-sweet flavor and the crunch and crackle of the aromatic mustard and coriander seeds. Next time I make them, I'll add Sichuan peppercorns a little heat. –Diana Andrews
2 1/2 cups Boil Water
2 cups (2 1/2 ounces or 70 grams) dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 Cup I am willow
1/2 Cup Chinese black vinegaror vinegar of your choice (see top note)
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 Customs Piece fresh gingerabout quarter-sized in diameter, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoon Coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fine Salt
Gather the ingredients.
Fill a 4-cup glass measuring cup or medium bowl with 2 1/2 cups boiling water. Add 2 cups (2 1/2 ounces) dried shiitake mushrooms to the water. To weigh the mushrooms down, use a small bowl or dish that fits into the measuring cup. Set aside until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid (reserve the liquid). Cut the mushroom stems with scissors and discard them, or save them and use them in the vegetable stock. Cut the mushroom caps into halves or slices.
Pour 1 cup of the soaking liquid into a small saucepan (about 2 quarts), avoiding the sand in the bottom of the measuring cup. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup Chinese black vinegar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons coriander seedsAnd 1 teaspoon fine salt to the pan.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced slightly and mushrooms are softer, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a clean pint jar. Pour enough cooking liquid over the mushrooms to cover them.
Cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Here's how to store it
The mushroom jar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. The brine can be used again to make another batch of pickled mushrooms.
Are you feeling adventurous? Try this:
- Add spice– Make the cucumbers spicy by adding sliced Serrano chilies.
- Change the flavor profile– Instead of mustard and coriander seeds, add star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves and Sichuan peppercorns for a five-spice version.
- Use a different vinegar—Use apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar instead of Chinese black vinegar.