Mushroom Ketchup sounds like a very posh and new version of the well known tomato ketchup. But, the reality is that ketchup was made with mushrooms, long before the discovery of the Americas and, thus, of the tomatoes. It was a Western version to an Asian spice and so, the mushroom ketchup was very salty and used as a condiment, similar to a soy sauce today. In time, the mushroom ketchup developed and ended up as a sauce we would recognize today.
You can buy mushroom ketchup from the supermarket or online shops. I’ve seen two options, one is rather expensive considering the first ingredient is water, the second salt, and it contains only 3% mushrooms. Another one, that is only £1 more, is made with 70% mushrooms, so that’s the one I would pick. Of course, you can make your own, like I did, and it will turn out amazing. I’ve used two types of dried mushrooms. You can get these dried mushrooms from any Asian or Chinese shop. Pleurotus are also called Abalone.
Ingredients for the mushroom ketchup:
– 500g closed cup mushrooms
– 25g dried Pleurotus mushrooms
– 25g dried Shiitake mushrooms
– Spring onions
– 2 spoons of vegetable oil (rapeseed or sunflower)
– garlic powder
– sea salt
– 1 tsp lemon juice
– white pepper
– smoked paprika
Start by boiling some water. Put the dried mushrooms in two separate bowls, cover them with plenty of boiling water and put a plate on top of the bowl. Leave the mushrooms to soak for about 20 minutes or more.
While the mushrooms are soaking, rinse and cut the closed cup mushrooms and the spring onions. In a frying pan, heat the oil, add the spices and stir. Add a spoon of water and the spring onions and stir. Leave to cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time. Toss in the mushrooms and stir. Add a bit more water if the pan is too dry. The mushrooms will release water, so don’t add too much. Leave to cook, stirring once in a while.
Put all the cooked mushrooms in the blender. Drain the water of the pleurotus mushrooms and add them to the blender. Drain the water from the shiitake mushrooms, but keep it in a mug or bowl. Add the shiitake mushrooms and a few spoons of this water. Blend until all the mushrooms are turning into a paste. Add more water and blend, until you get the consistency you are looking for.
You can enjoy the sauce with vegan burgers, like we did, or use it in dishes like risotto. It is very versatile and delicious.
Have you ever tried mushroom ketchup or made it at home? Is it something you’d enjoy eating?