Spiced mushroom broth

Spiced mushroom broth

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

The sight of slimy black-capped shiitakes was essentially what scared me as a child. A logical way to deal with this seems to be to remove any visual references and present the offending ingredient in an unrecognisable form. I couldn’t help adding some black truffle. My grown-up self doesn’t have any aversion to the appearance of truffles: there’s a beauty about them and no evil potential in their look (to my eyes, anyway).

For the spiced mushroom paste


Quantity Ingredient
500g swiss brown or other strong-flavoured mushrooms
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon dill seeds
190ml apple cider vinegar
1 french shallot, sliced
1 litre light chicken s tock

For the spiced mushroom broth

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre light chicken s tock
2 egg yolks
dry sherry, to taste
100ml whipping cream, lightly whipped to hold shape
1 large black truffle, about 15 g an extravagance i’d recommend for the full impact of its flavour


  1. Make the spiced mushroom paste:
  2. Slice the mushrooms thinly and mix with the salt in a bowl. Cover and marinate overnight. The next day, transfer the mushrooms and juices to a non-reactive saucepan. Grind the peppercorns, fennel and dill to a fine powder and add to the pan, along with the vinegar and shallot. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for at least 30 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Add the chicken stock. Return to the boil and simmer slowly for about 1½ hours, until reduced by three-quarters. Take off the heat, cool slightly and purée to a fine paste with a blender. Pass through a sieve to get a more even texture. Taste for salt and black pepper. A mushroom flavour should be foremost when considering the balance of flavours and the paste will be quite a lot saltier than is usually edible. (There will be some left over after using 3–4 tablespoons in the broth. This can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and used as a condiment.)
  3. Make the mushroom broth:
  4. Bring the chicken stock to the boil. In a bowl, combine 3 heaped tablespoons of the mushroom paste with the egg yolks. Take a few spoonfuls of boiling stock and stir into the mushroom mixture. Quickly whisk this back into the pan of stock. Heat the broth slowly so the egg yolks slightly thicken the mixture. Season with sherry to taste. Pass the broth through a fine sieve for a lighter texture.
  5. Assemble the dish:
  6. Serve the broth warm in bowls. Swirl the cream over the surface of the broth so that it melts and sits on top in the form of foam. Quickly shave a generous amount of truffle (if using) over each bowl and serve immediately.
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