I don’t think it needs to be said that this year has been crazy. We are all living it day-to-day at the moment. For those among us, who are lucky enough to have safe shelter, we are indoors. We wait, patiently on some days, for time to pass and dull out the might that is Coronavirus. It has become a long wait. Amidst all of the turmoil and anxiety, food has become an emotional coping tool. Making this vegan magical mushroom paste is one of the things that brought me so much joy.
The pursuit of joy has become my daily motto. I am constantly looking for ways to make the days shorter and the moments of levity longer. I have found joy in making frozen yogurt at home for the first time. One night, unable to sleep, I found myself making this mushroom paste. It almost feels like a misnomer to call it a paste because it is magic. Reminisce of the mushroom duxelle from in French cuisine, this vegan mushroom paste has become the thing that I use to add nuance and flavor to many dishes. I have stuffed manicotti with mushroom paste. I have used it to make gravy. It made an appearance at my Thanksgiving table last year for my green bean casserole. It just makes it so easy to create a flavorful dish in less time.
I first discovered the magic of mushrooms a few years ago when I choose to eat a completely plant-based diet for a few weeks. It was eye-opening to discover that there is so much flavor in plants. Mushroom, in particular, is known for its umami. The umami you find in mushroom is magnified in this vegan mushroom paste by the cohort of herbs and vegetables.
The mushroom paste is super easy to use. I am going to be publishing a bunch of recipes that use this vegan mushroom paste. I hope when you make this, you also explore and play with it. The mushroom paste has become a staple on my fridge because it just makes the process making everything that much quicker.
Vegan Mushroom Paste
- 16 oz Mushroom *mixed between basic Bella and other fancy types
- 1 Cup Crushed/chopped Onion *2 medium bulbs
- 1/2 Cup Crushed/Chopped Carrots * 3 medium or 2 large sticks
- 4 Garlic Cloves *chopped
- 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 tbsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp Dried Marjoram
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1 tsp Salt
- In a shallow pot set over low to medium heat, add in the vegetable oil and onions. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The goal is to cook to the onions slowly until it starts to caramelize on the edges. This process takes time. Stir constantly for about 15-20 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, celery, and carrot into the pot. Stir until evenly distributed. Cook until celery starts to become translucent. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the mushroom as well as all the dried herbs and remaining salt. Stir to distribute evenly. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently. Don't be tempted to season the mushroom to taste since this paste goes into other dishes. You want it to be undersalted so that you can use it as you desire.
- The mushroom paste is ready when mushroom stops releasing liquid in the pan. It shrinks to about 1/3 to 1/4 of its original volume in the pan. This takes between 15-25 minutes.
- Store in a fridge in a tightly closed container for a couple of weeks or in a freezer for up to 4 weeks.