I like to cook honey mushrooms in all kinds of wild mushroom recipes, but these marinated honeys are the first thing you should make if you're new to them, or if you're a honey-harvesting veteran who's looking for something new tricks. They're delicious, addicting, and a fun compliment to a charcuterie platter.
Most of us are probably familiar with little jars of "marinated mushrooms" which taste more like pickled mushrooms by necessity as the low amount of acid isn't stable enough for long term preservation on a shelf.
Besides the heavy amount of acid, those little jars of marinated mushrooms are also made from boring white buttons. Honey mushrooms, especially the young buttons with their delicious, chewy texture, are a great stand-in for white buttons in a lot of different recipes, these being one of the best examples I've had to date.
The recipe is really simple. First, you need honey buttons, not opened caps, buttons. Next you give them a good boil, about 5 minutes or so until they're wilted, then rinse them, pat dry, and mix with a few herbs and seasonings, letting them sit for at least a few hours before you dig in.
Adjusting the flavor profile
This honey mushroom recipe is a nod to my friends in the Ukraine and Russia, where they love honeys. The flavors here reflect that, and I recommend it as a starting point. Once you make one batch, I'm sure you can tweak things to your liking. Here's the big ingredients.
- Sunflower oil (only Smude's oil will do here, other oils don't have the same flavor)
- Flavorful herb (dill, oregano, mint, chives, tarragon, etc)
- Lemon zest
How to use them
Marinated mushrooms are more than something to just eat cold out of a jar. Here's a few ideas.
- Add a spoonful of caps to hot soup as a garnish, especially things like borcht and brothy soups. If you change the flavor profile up they'll be excellent with Asian noodle soups too.
- Warm them up and spoon them on top of a protein: fish, steak, chicken, pork-anything
- Toss them with pasta to warm them up, especially minimalist pastas like very simple tomato sauce, garlic and oil, or pasta with pesto.
- Warm or room temp with your favorite charcuterie and cheeses.
Marinated Honey Mushrooms
- 1 mixing bowl
- 10 oz fresh honey mushrooms preferably unopened buttons, stems trimmed down to 1 inch or less remaining
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 medium 5 g clove of garlic, grated on a mandoline
- 1 small 15 g shallot, diced as small as possible or minced
- 10 cracks of the peppermill
- 1 small lemon
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice or your favorite vinegar or more to taste
- ¼ cup Smude’s sunflower oil
- Crushed red pepper or other hot chili to taste
- Fresh chopped dill or your favorite soft herb like oregano, mint, etc basil, mint, etc, to taste, about 1-2 tablespoons
- Bring 3 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a vigorous, rolling boil in a large stock pot that can accommodate the mushrooms and water without boiling over.
- Add the honey mushrooms, cover the pot, wait for the pot to come back to a boil, put the lid on, set a timer for ten minutes, keeping the pot at a rolling boil the whole time. Drain the mushrooms in a colander and allow to cool, then rinse.
- Spread the mushrooms on paper towels or a cloth and press on them a bit to remove excess water.
- Combine the mushrooms in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, zesting about half the lemon, and peeling 8-10 strips as thin as possible and cutting them into julienne (optional). Double check the seasoning for salt, acid and spiciness, adjust until it tastes good to you, then refrigerate.
- The mushrooms will improve in flavor over time, and will last for a week or so.
The honeys have just started here and I brought home a bit over 2 kg, most of them perfect tiny buttons.
So, a question: 5 minutes boiling feels like not enough for honeys we will then consume without further cooking.
I am cautious with honeys and generally cook then for about 20 minutes when duxelling them for the freezer for later use in pierogi or burgers, or I use them in stews/goulash where they cook for a long time. I have pickled and canned them in the past but I cooked those ones pretty much to death too, and ... nobody has ever gotten sick from honeys I have prepared, which I consider a triumph.
So ... you stand by the 5 minutes? I don't want to break a winning streak...
Jacqui, thanks for mentioning that. I re-wrote the method there a bit for clarity. I do stand by the 5 min if they follow the directions *explicitly*, but after doing the recipe testing for my book, I know that user error is definitely a thing, and since these are eaten without cooking after, I'm going to change it to 10 as some people can get lax on following guidelines. Thanks again for bringing it up 🙂
Don't freak, but I've left pickled honeys in the frig for close to a year .... and still taste great. 🙂
I know. Unfortunately my advice has to go through a filter here. We live in a litigious society.