The mushroom ketchup making continues.
What? You thought it was finished?! Oh no,
no, no. Of course not. There’s more to do!
Okay. When we last saw our mushrooms,
they had been spread out, salted, and
allowed to sit overnight. They were
broken up, briefly boiled, and then
strained through a cloth. All of which resulted in a luscious
sepia-toned mushroom juice:
This liquid was then left to sit for awhile, thus enabling any and all
sediment to settle out in the bottom of the bowl. I then poured
the juice back into the cloth and strained it two more times. It
was simply amazing the amount of crud that was found in the
bottom of the bowl and on the cloth itself: lots of teeny-tiny
bits of mushroom; and a whole lotta salt!
Finally, it was back into the saucepan to be boiled, again, this time
with a chunk of fresh ginger and several whole peppercorns:
We’re almost done! First, however, the liquid had to be strained one
more time. The end result:
Mostly pure salt is all that remained in the cloth:
Whew. It’s finally done! And so, from three eight-ounce boxes of sliced
mushrooms, this is the final (and surprising) amount of ketchup:
I can’t begin to imagine the quantity of mushrooms needed in order
to end up with a full pint, let alone half a cup! Clarissa Dillon warned
me that I wouldn’t have much in the end. She was right! All that
work for such a very, VERY small amount. Amazing.
I plan to make more. Next time, though, I’ll use whole mushrooms to start
and then, less salt. This batch was a bit heavy on that score, even though
a large percentage of it either settled, or was strained, out. Other than that,
however, it was quite tasty (and I’m not a huge fan of fungi). It was very
mushroom-y and earthy tasting. Smelled the same, too.
In addition, I found both the taste and the smell to be SO unlike that
of Worcestershire Sauce. They are worlds apart; besides, one is plant-
based, the other, fish. And then there are all those additives, chemical
and otherwise. I sure wouldn’t recommend substituting the one (WS)
for the other (mushroom). Just doesn’t make sense.
Up next: the mushroom ketchup receipt (recipe)