Sophie's pickled ceps

Sophie's pickled ceps

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Makes
1 large jar
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

My friend Sophie Dening is a fantastic food and wine writer. We’ve spent a lot of time eating (and drinking) together, everywhere from cramped Soho sushi counters to Noma in Copenhagen, but wherever we are in the world, one thing’s for sure – if there’s a pickle on the menu, Sophie will order it. This is her favourite recipe for pickled dried ceps, and I think it’s ingenious. It’s dead simple, and really only calls for store-cupboard ingredients and a thumb of ginger, but the result is absolutely delicious and incredibly addictive. I can eat these straight from the jar, but they’re very good in salads, with cold beef, on poached eggs or in sandwiches. Sophie says: ‘This is a rock ’n’ roll kinda recipe, except for one thing: it came about because of a spot of car trouble during a trip to the garden centre one day. Waiting for a lift home, I took refuge next door at Adam Coghlan’s house. Adam is a would-be flâneur (his words), journalist, and leading light of London Restaurant Festival. That day, he pressed a bag of dried shiitake mushrooms into my hands and tipped me the wink. I duly went home and looked up a certain pickled shiitake recipe in the Momofuku cookbook. Ever since, these amazing ’shrooms have been like sweeties in my house. The idea of trying it with ceps came from my friend James Lowe.’

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g dried ceps
150ml light soy sauce
150ml cider vinegar
150g golden caster sugar
2 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled

Special equipment

Quantity Ingredient
1 500 ml jar

Method

  1. Sterilise the jar by putting it through a hot dishwasher cycle or washing it in hot, soapy water, rinsing well and drying it in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the ceps in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to rehydrate for 15 minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon. Reserve 200 ml of the mushroom liquid, passing it through a fine mesh sieve, and put it into a heavy-based saucepan with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger and ceps. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes, then allow to cool. Discard the ginger, and pack the mushrooms into the sterilised jar, completely covering them with pickling liquid. Seal with vinegar-proof lids and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
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