Porcini Mushroom Soy Sauce

I have a some rituals that keep me content during the off-season, when conditions make it nearly impossible to forage.  Most days begin standing at the east window, huddled around a steaming cup of nettle tea, while the candied dawn stretches and yawns over the horizon.  Next, I shuffle my woolly slippers into the pantry in search of breakfast.  Part food storage area, part temple to the growing season past, its shelves are packed with tins of herbs, and jars of pickles and preserves.  There is something deeply satisfying about standing in the doorway and scanning the shelves.  My preserves aren't just aesthetically pleasing, they're a treat to the ancient part of my brain that loves knowing I can feed myself.  Also, there are memories stored inside the cell walls of those plants. 

Invariably, in this winter morning ritual, my eyes settle upon the rows of dried porcini.  My obsession.  My prize.  I'm compelled to the two gallon container that houses the finest mushroom slices.  The ceremony goes like this -- I lift the lid, close my eyes, genuflect, and nuzzle my entire face into the jar.


The piano-wire tension connecting all things throughout the summer of '12 as fires ravaged the mountainsides.  The balm of honeyed relief when the rains finally came.


Raindrops tapping me on the collarbone, bootsteps swallowed by sodden moss, hawks screeching on the updraft.

~~~breathe in~~~

Sugared soil and arrows of sunlight bolting through canopies of Englemann spruce.  Dirty fingernails and my favorite knife.


Suspense, seduction, Mother Nature's slight of hand. Mushrooms.

I season my meals with remembrances.

Porcini Mushroom Soy Sauce

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
10 oz. soy sauce (don't skimp here, use the good stuff!)

1.  Place the dried porcini mushrooms into a sterilized pint jar.

2.  In a pan over medium flame, heat the soy sauce to a bare simmer.  You aren't trying to cook it, just get it warmed up.

3.  Pour the hot soy sauce into the jar full of dried porcini mushrooms.  Cover, and let it cool to room temperature.

4.  Let the mushrooms steep in the soy sauce in a cool dry place for at least a week, but 2-3 weeks is preferable.

5.  Strain out the mushrooms.  I like to use a potato ricer for this, as I find it is really good at squeezing out every last drop of liquid.  Store the porcini-infused soy sauce in the fridge.

Porcini soy sauce can be used in all of the recipes where you'd normally reach for soy sauce, for stir-fries and the like.  But don't overlook it as the seasoning in marinades, soups, gravies, braises, etc.  The strong umami character of porcini soy sauce can give you a lot of mileage in the kitchen.

Don't throw out the soaked mushrooms!  Buzz them up in a food processor, and keep them in the fridge as well.  They make a nice salty condiment.  You can throw them into pretty much any savory dish where you need a salty element.  I'm particularly fond of eating the salty mushrooms atop a baked potato.
Porcini Mushroom Soy Sauce on Punk Domestics


  1. This is why I always look forward to returning to your site. Beautiful!

  2. The mushroom hunter in me really wants to get excited about this recipe. But I've not yet recovered from the heart-stopping beauty of the picture you've painted.

    Foraging poet. Word painter. Love your blog!

  3. So unique. So creative. Such an innovator.

  4. Deliciously easy recipe. I'm going to go buy (sorry, no foraging for me) some dried porcini and soy sauce tomorrow to start a batch of my own. I only regret I didn't know about this in time to make Christmas gifts. People would have thought I was a genius (because of course I'd pass the recipe off as my own!).

  5. Do this endlessly, please.

  6. Thank you for the direct injection of beauty. Is it safe to assume I could use any dried mushroom for this recipe?

    1. Yes, I'd think any edible dried mushroom would work here. I use the porcini because I pick them myself, and because they are the king of flavor. But I'm guessing that other mushrooms would lend some nice mushroom character as well.

  7. Mushroom soy sauce and a slice of beauty. I'm happy now, thanks.

  8. Great idea! I'm going to start a batch tonight.

  9. Word painter. What a lovely thing to say. Thank you.

  10. OMG did you write this recipe for me and not tell me about it? I am going to use my last batch of wormy, dried porcini (where I sliced and let the wormies crawl out of the drying slices a la Hank Shaw) to make your soy sauce, B, and THEN I am going add oil and whatever tickles my fancy to turn it into salad dressing, or maybe marinade, as you suggest. I can't decide. I can't wait!

    Also, I love it when the "candied dawn stretches and yawns over the horizon," I just didn't know it until I read your post. This is beautiful writing, B. This is art.

  11. :) Love you, my dear deer! When you need more mush, just say the word!


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