Both mushroom ketchup and spiced mushroom powder are flavourful and versatile condiments to add a little umami in cooking.
I had not even heard of mushroom ketchup, until my friend Creag bought me a cookbook, The Scots Kitchen, a book full of Scottish traditions, lore and recipes.
Creag and I both love traditional cultural dishes from around the world. It was a lot of fun when we made injera and cardamom, saffron & vanilla poached pear together. Despite being Scottish himself, Creag was never able to explain what traditional Scottish dishes are like. Thus the reason of him picking up The Scots Kitchen, for us to cook some Scottish history together.
What is Mushroom Ketchup?
Many of the recipes in this book call for mushroom ketchup (catsup) as an ingredient. Then I learned that mushroom ketchup is a traditional condiment originally from the United Kingdom. Unlike the ketchup we are familiar with, historically mushroom ketchup was made from mushrooms instead of tomato, and is of a liquid form rather than a thick paste. I would describe it as a “mushroom extract” to be more accurate.
If you come across mushroom ketchup of the consistency of tomato ketchup, then they have been modernized and thickened. The mushroom ketchup recipe I have below is of the liquid form, staying true to the traditional making.
You can use mushroom ketchup like soya sauce or Worcestershire sauce to flavour dishes or use in marinate.
What is Mushroom Powder and How to Use It?
After we extract the liquid from the mushrooms to make mushroom ketchup, we are left with cooked mushroom solids. It’s a waste to throw away the cooked mushrooms, as they are full of flavour still.
You can certainly repurpose the mushroom solids into soups, stir-fries, stuffings, or any dish that requires mushrooms.
Creag and I decided to dehydrate them and turn them into a powder form. With the existing salt and spices in the mushroom, we found the mushroom powder perfectly rich and flavourful.
I have used the spiced mushroom powder on a few occasions. Try them as seasoning in sautéed vegetables or on rice, in soups or as a dry rub on meats and steaks. They are very versatile and add umami and depth to any dish.
You can store the spiced mushroom powder pretty much indefinitely, which is another advantage.
What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use?
To make this recipe, you can use any combination of fresh mushrooms, or a mix of fresh and dry mushrooms. I like the depth of flavour of the dry mushrooms, so I would recommend using a small handful of them whenever you can.
For the fresh mushrooms, I used 50/50 white and crimini mushrooms in this recipe. The dry mushrooms I used contain yellow boletes, oyster mushrooms, portobello, and porcini.
Again, you can use any variety you like. The cheaper mushrooms work just as well as the more expensive ones, so no need to break the bank for this recipe.
Steps to Make Mushroom Ketchup & Mushroom Powder
The following images illustrate the important steps to make mushroom ketchup and spiced mushroom powder.
- Combine mushrooms, salt, spices, onion in a mixing bowl. After mixing them up, let it rest for up to 24 hours to release mushroom juice.
- Add water and apple cider vinegar. Simmer in a large pot to extract the flavour and reduce the liquid to desired amount.
- Strain the liquid through a fine sieve or layered cheese cloth. Press on the mushrooms to squeeze out all the juice.
- Spread the mushroom solids on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 200℉ for 10 hours or until completely dehydrated.
- Process the dehydrated mushrooms in a coffee grinder in batches.
- Pulverize continuously to obtain a fine powder.
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Mushroom Ketchup + Spiced Mushroom Powder
- 2 lb assorted fresh mushrooms of any kind (I used 50/50 white and crimini)
- 1 cup assorted dried mushrooms of any kind (I used yellow boletes, oyster mushrooms, portobello, porcini)
- 2 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, dry powder or freshly grated
- 5 cloves, toasted
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 cup water
- Wash the fresh mushrooms to remove dirt. Finely dice the mushrooms. Chop up the onion.
- Toast the cloves in a cast iron skillet on the stove for 5 minutes. Zest the lemon.
- Combine diced mushrooms, sea salt, bay leaves, chopped onion, lemon zest, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let it rest in room temperature for up to 1 day.
- Transfer the mixture into a large pot. Add the apple cider vinegar and additional water.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 cups. Let the pot cool down for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the mushroom mixture through a fine seive or layered cheese cloth. Press down and squeeze the mushroom pieces to release all the liquid.
- Store the liquid in a sealed bottle. It will last indefinitely.
Spiced Mushroom Powder
- Spread the cooked mushroom pieces on a large baking sheet.
- Bake the mushrooms at 200℉ for 10 hours, or until thoroughly dehydrated.
- Pulverize the dried mushrooms in a coffee grinder. Process in batches if needed.
- Store the dry powder in a sealed container.