Fermented Curried Oyster Mushrooms
When our country went into lockdown I was lucky enough to have borrowed about a dozen cookbooks from the library. With not much to do, my usual quick perusal of said books turned into long afternoons lying in the sun reading and marking up recipes to try. And out of all of these books, one of them really sparked something in me. For a non drinker, getting a book out of the library on brewing was probably a bit out there but turned out to be a magickal turn. The book is The Wildcrafting Brewer by Pascal Bauder and it started a wonder in me that I thought had been lost long ago in childhood.
In this book Pascal uses wildcrafted herbs, weeds, barks and all manner of ingredients to make naturally fermented sodas, alcoholic drinks and vinegars. After making a pine needle soda using a wild grape starter, I was hooked. Anyway - to cut a long story short - I started following Pascal on Instagram and was wowed by all of the amazing herbal and vegetable ferments he makes as well. Suffice to say, I have ordered all three of his books and am now number one groupie.
A few weeks ago on Instagram, Pascal made an amazing looking mushroom ferment with curry spices and so when my homegrown Oyster mushrooms started fruiting I knew what I was making!
Oyster mushrooms ( Pleurotus ostreatus ) are really easy to grow at home from pre-prepared kits ( I get mine from SporeShift) and is a delicious culinary mushroom. As with all mushrooms, oysters have immune modulating and prebiotic activity making them the perfect foods for the winter months. In addition, oyster mushrooms have a particular benefit for reducing problematic cholesterol levels. Oyster mushrooms may also provide environmental benefits as they are seen to detoxify chemical waste while its mycelium is used to make an eco Styrofoam like packing material.
My specimens were absolutely massive as you can see! Fermenting mushrooms not only makes them more digestible but he lactobacillii bacteria present in the ferment also bolster the gut loving actions of this beautiful mushroom. You can also crumb and fry them once they are fermented to make crunchy mushroom bites!
RECIPE - By Pascal Bauder
170g Oyster Mushrooms
2 teaspoons pan roasted coriander seeds
1 teaspoon pan roasted mustard seeds
1 tablespoon pan roasted almond meal ( he uses acorn flour)
1 tablespoon pan roasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 .5 sea salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Cut up your mushrooms and steam them for 20 minutes to kill any bacteria they may have on them which may spoil the ferment.
Dry pan roast all of the spices and then mix through the chia seeds, curry, turmeric
In a clean bowl and with clean hands, mix together the cooled steamed mushrooms with the spices, sesame oil and sauerkraut juice. I actually used a store bough raw unpasteurized sauerkraut juice as I didn't have one on the go at the time.
Add in about 1/4 cup of distilled or rain water and pop into a jar. Shake and burp daily to distribute the acidity. When there are no more fermentation gases present - (about 2 weeks) then pop into the fridge to ferment for longer.
I am in no way shape or form an expert on fermenting! I am really just a beginner so if you want to know more about fermentation and wildcrafting then I urge you to go and check out Pascal and his Instagram and buy his books! I ordered mine through the lovely ladies at Cook The Books