Quick-Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms

Quick-Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms
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quick-picled shiitake mushrooms
Mushrooms with a sweet and sour taste.

We originally were going to post these mushrooms as just a part of a larger dish, but they turned out so well and seemed so versatile and tasty that they really deserve their own short post. Now, we’ve read about pickled mushrooms in various cookbooks, but never really thought about making them. And, of course we’ve seen and had marinated mushrooms in the past, but these are a bit different. So, we won’t give credit to any particular book, but, instead,the idea for these quick-pickled mushrooms comes from a small appetizer that we had at a local restaurant here in Tucson that offered pickled mushrooms and olives. We ordered it, not quite knowing what to expect, and it turned out that we received a small bowl with a few pickled oyster mushrooms and about a half-dozen black olives. And, it was pretty good: a nice, light pickling on the mushrooms, not like pickles at all; instead, just a mild sweet-sour taste. We knew that we could make something similar at home, and they would be better suited as an ingredient in other dishes.  So, the very next day, we made up a small batch using dried shiitake mushrooms.

We think that these will go well in a stir-fry, or in a hot-and-sour soup, or, in small amounts, on a savory sandwich. You’ll see what we did with them next week, and, for that, you’ll need to reserve the liquid used to re-hydrate the mushrooms.

Quick-Pickled Shiitakes

Yield: 1/4 cup

Quick-Pickled Shiitakes


  • 4-6 medium dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
  • 3 Tbs (40 g) brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs (40 g) white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) boiling water

Abbreviated Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a small heatproof bowl. Cover and let stand for 4 to 6 hours.

Remove mushrooms and use as fresh mushrooms.

If desired, strain broth for another use.


Ingredient discussion:

Obviously, you can use other dried mushrooms here, but we think those with a lighter flavor will work best. Feel free to change the vinegar, too. Use a red wine vinegar, or a Champagne vinegar, or an apple cider vinegar, but we’d probably avoid plain white vinegar.

Procedure in detail:

quick-pickling mushrooms
We use a measuring cup as a small bowl. It makes it easy to pour off the liquid to be used elsewhere.

It’s really not much of a procedure, is it? Basically, combine everything in a small bowl or other heatproof dish, — heatproof, since you’ll be adding boiling water — cover, and let stand 4 to 6 hours. Then use as you’d use ordinary mushrooms, but with a slight sweet-sour taste. Since they’re so easy and so good, this is a real keeper: five stars.

Worth the trouble?

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