Tangy Shiitake Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme

I don't have any formal cooking training. I love to read cookbooks and food blogs, but when it comes down to it, I'm mostly just experimenting in the kitchen. I like to think I have the intuition of a cook, a fairly good palate, and a bit of knowledge on what flavors taste good together. And often my experiments work out, but occasionally I do have massive failures. (I'm still a bit bitter about that one sour meal of lentils in wine, garlic and lemon last year that didn't quite turn out as I'd hoped...) These mushrooms though, they were a success.

My favorite meals are often the ones resulting from a bit of spontaneity. I love coming across a recipe I just have to make right now. Or finding a unique or super fresh ingredient and rushing home to find the perfect recipe. And sometimes the best dishes come out of necessity. Those times when you have something in the fridge that's going to go bad if you don't use it asap.

I had a handful of gorgeous Shiitake Mushrooms, grown by my dad's basketball buddy, Jim. They sat in my fridge, bundled in paper towels and a paper bag for a week and a half before I finally got off my butt and spontaneously tried out this recipe. I couldn't waste them. After all, I'd practically forced my parents to give them to me in the first place.

So there I was, planning on a quick supper of roasted broccoli and a box of rice pilaf. And I thought, what if I roast these mushrooms too? A quick google of "Roasted Shiitake Mushooms" took me to this New York Times recipe from 1993. I adapted it quite liberally, ending up with more of a braise than a roast, in a small baking dish with water and sherry vinegar instead of wine.

After 15 minutes in the oven my whole apartment smelled like the best restaurant ever. Luckily, the mushrooms tasted as good as they smelled. The garlicky, slightly tangy broth revived my slightly dehydrated shiitakes beautifully. The result was plump, tender mushrooms with a silky texture and plenty of flavor.

Now, this recipe really only makes enough for one person. Though you could probably squeeze out two servings if it's part of a larger meal. I had ten mushrooms, in varying sizes, so that's what I cooked but I'm sure the recipe can size up just fine in a larger baking dish. If you don't have sherry vinegar, other wine flavored vinegars would work just fine. I'm sure lemon juice would be delicious as well. The mushrooms made a lovely meal alongside my broccoli and rice. My only regret was the lack of crusty bread to mop up the tablespoon or so of remaining broth.

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Tangy Shiitake Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme
Plump shiitake mushrooms braised in a light, tangy broth flavored with garlic, sherry vinegar, and fresh thyme.
    around 10 Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms 1 clove Garlic 1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar 1/4 cup Water 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes Kosher Salt Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 350˚F. Remove and discard the stems from the shiitake mushrooms. With a damp paper towel, brush mushroom caps to remove any dirt or debris. Thinly slice the garlic.

Pour water and sherry vinegar into a small baking dish. Arrange mushrooms in dish and sprinkle with garlic slices, pepper flakes, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper then drizzle the olive oil all over the mushrooms.

Cover the baking dish in foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and check liquid level, if it looks dry, add another tablespoon or two of water. Return to oven, uncovered, for 15 more minutes until the mushrooms are plump and tender.

Serve hot with plenty of crusty bread!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1-2 servings


  1. Mushrooms and Thyme is such a great combination! I often throw in a little Rosemary... sometimes a splash of balsamic vinegar... Very lovely photos too!
    - Brittany

  2. Wow those look so good! I love mushrooms but don't get them often because no one else in the house likes them. I love the thyme and red pepper flakes on these. Yum :)

  3. Ohohoh, this looks delicious. And because right now it's 1:30 am and I don't have any shiitakes in my fridge I won't make it... right now. I really, really need to prepare this soon. :O

  4. Shitake is one of my favorite mushrooms! They soak up all the glories flavor you've infused them with!

  5. @Heidi - Thanks :) Yeah my parents never cooked mushrooms when I was little so I'm just now really discovering them!

    @Louise - Thank you! I'd love to hear how they turn out if you decide to make them!

    @myFudo - Yes, these got so juicy and flavorful from the garlic and liquid!

  6. mushrooms deteriorate too quickly. they are one of my favourite foods and and shiitake is my favourite mushrooms. especially when they are dried. this looks like a wonderful nourishing dish. The light in your photos is beautiful.

  7. @tinytearoom - I agree, lately I've been trying to be better about using up my produce before it spoils. These mushrooms definitely got a little dried out, luckily the liquid in the recipe plumped them right back up! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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