Good Question: How Do I Use Mushroom Stock?

Here's an interesting question from Beth, who is looking forw ways to use the broth left over after reconstituting dried mushrooms.
I started using more dried mushrooms recently - shitake, porcini, and straw to be exact. The last few times, I saved the liquid used to reconstitute them. Afterwards, I simmered the liquid to concentrate it — reducing the volume by about 1/2-2/3. That's as far as my planning for mushroom stock went.

I have no idea how to use it other than to replace normal vegetable stock when making soup. Given the stronger flavor of porcini stock over simple vegetable stock, do you have any other suggestions? Googling this question usually results in tips on how to MAKE mushroom stock, not use it.

Beth, this is actually a great problem to have! You can use that liquid in so many ways. To start off, what are you using the reconstituted dried mushrooms for? If it's a soup, pasta, or sauce, you can probably throw the liquid in too. Just replace part of the liquid the recipe calls for with the mushroom broth.

You can reduce it, as you've been doing, and simmer it with some herbs and spices and use it as a sauce for pasta or rice. Or just substitute some of the water you'd use to cook rice for the mushroom liquid. Really, any place you use water or broth you could substitute the mushroom broth. You could toss vegetables in it, or use it to moisten a bread salad.

One tip: Often the liquid left from soaking mushrooms has dirt and grit in it. Get rid of this by sieving the broth through a paper coffee filter.

Here are a few recipes from The Kitchn that either call for mushroom broth or could have it substituted in.
Recipe: Mushroom Soup
Recipe: Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini
Recipe: Rich No-Cream Wild Mushroom Pasta Sauce
Recipe: Pumpernickel, Watercress and Mushroom Bread Salad

Any more ideas for Beth?

(Image: Cooking Light)

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Advice, Questions, Soup

Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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