Umami’s Favorite Mushrooms
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- 1 pound mixed mushrooms such cremini, oyster, shitake, and maitake; cleaned and halved or quartered if large (about 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, for garnish, such as chives, parsley, dill fronds, or marjoram
Recipe by Yewande Komolafe
Reprinted from Waffles + Mochi: The Cookbook. Available everywhere books are sold November 2021.
This umami-rich topping is almost as elegant as our taste bud friend Umami herself. It’s delicious on toast over toast, soft-boiled eggs, pasta, root vegetables, or just about any savory dish you can think of!
You’ll need patience for this one—the goal is to work slowly because the mushrooms need time to release their water and deepen their flavor, which reveals their true power.
This recipe uses lots of different kinds of mushrooms. You may not recognize them at first, but that’s okay! Give mushrooms a try and you might find that you love the delicious aromas filling your kitchen.
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches if needed so you don’t crowd the skillet, add the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme sprigs.
Mushrooms are actually the fruit of a fungus that grows underground (the mycelium). This is only one type of fungi: the kind with a cap and stem. There are 38,000 of these mushrooms, but we eat about 200 to 250 of them.
Cook, stirring frequently until the garlic begins to brown along the edges and the mushrooms are golden and tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Some mushrooms, like chanterelles, need the most delicate applications of heat, while sturdier mushrooms like cremini will benefit from a good long sauté.)
You can grow mushrooms almost anywhere on anything. They can be grown on toilet and paper towel rolls, egg cartons, newspapers, magazines, coffee grounds, tea bags, old cotton clothing, tissue boxes, shredded paper, cardboard boxes, and more.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter and allow it to melt, swirling it to coat the mushrooms in an even layer. Remove the skillet from heat, discard the thyme sprigs, and toss in the fresh herbs.
Serve warm any way you like!
NOW, MAKE YOUR TASTEBUDS SING!
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