I had to reconstitute a bunch of dried mushrooms when I made a batch of trumpet chanterelle marmalade.
When I strained the mushrooms, I was left with the wonderful black liquid that I had soaked the mushrooms in. Not wanting the soaking liquid to go to waste, I decided to experiment to see if I could make a mushroom elixir out of it. I then proceeded with my normal recipe (point 6 below). The results of the experiment made it plain that one can actually make a stunning condiment from plain ole mushroom soaking liquid.
The classical Norwegian recipe comes from Else Wiborg.
Edible mushrooms (including those which are not perfect enough for your dinner table)
150-200 g sea salt to 1 kg mushrooms
1. Cut mushrooms into large bits.
2. Layer mushrooms and sea salt in a large bowl.
3. Cover with a plate and put a weight on top of the plate.
4. Leave in a cold place (I put mine in the fridge) for about a week.
5. At the end of the week, you should have quite a lot of dark liquid in the bowl (mushroom extract). If you use Agaricus or other edible dark-spored mushrooms, the liquid will be witch black! Sieve the liquid and measure how much you have. Throw away the mushrooms.
For one liter of mushroom extract:
250-500 g sugar
5 anchovy filets
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
3 laurel leaves
2 dl red wine
6. Brown the sugar in a pot. Make sure it doesn’t burn. CAREFULLY, add the mushroom extract. Add the spices, the anchovies and the red wine. Let the liquid simmer for about half an hour.
7. Cool the liquid. Sieve with a muslin cloth. Bring the liquid to boil again.
8. Pour into clean bottles.
I use my homemade mushroom elixir when marinating fish or meat. In party nuts. In homemade pancetta. You name it. It is also great as a dipping sauce for dumplings.
You can experiment and use other spices. I have seen recipes with juniper berries, star anise, cardamom, cummin, rose pepper, green pepper, thyme and nutmeg. I have also seen recipes which have included shallots and celeriac.
In Norway, this is sometimes called “mushroom soy”, mainly because it is used like soy sauce.
There are no soy beans in the recipe.
Here is another mushroom elixir recipe (in Norwegian)