Russian Fermented Mushrooms
This recipe was adapted from the food blog Beets & Bones.
- 300g fresh osyster mushrooms, torn into 3 cm pieces
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon grated horseradish root
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
- 1-2 teaspoons your favorite pickling spices (I like mustard seeds and dill seeds)
- 1-2 sprigs fresh dill
- 1 quart filtered water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
STARTER – pick one
- 1/4 cup sauerkraut or pickle juice (homemade or store-bought refrigerated brand)
- 1/4 cup live whey + 1-2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (you can even use liquid whey from store-bought yogurt)
In a medium pot, place mushrooms and enough water to cover them completely. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to boil, then cook on low for 15-20 minutes.
While mushrooms are cooking, prepare the brine: bring 1 quart water to boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat, let cool to warm room temperature. Once cool, add the rest of the ingredients, including a starter of your choice.
Drain the mushrooms, and place them into a quart mason jar. Pour the brine over the cooled down mushrooms. Cover the jar tightly and shake to spread the brine (I use a white plastic lid).
You may put a fermenting weight, or a cabbage leave on top to keep the mushrooms down, but they don’t always float.
Keep brined mushrooms covered at room temperature from 7 to 14 days. I don’t notice much activity like bubbling in the first few days. The reason I know something is happening is because the brine changes color to cloudy and opaque, and mushrooms become a bit darker. Around day 4-5, I see some bubbling, and mushrooms turn lighter color. Once done, mushrooms should taste pleasant, with that tangy pickled flavor throughout.
Russians like to eat lacto fermented mushrooms tossed with chopped sweet or green onions, dill and parsley, and some sunflower oil. Olive oil works well too. Lacto fermented mushrooms make an easy dinner served with buttered boiled potatoes and a side of sauerkraut.