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Sauces with Common and Exotic Mushrooms

By Luci

Almost everyone loves mushrooms and they make awesome sauces. There was a time when white baby mushrooms were all that most groceries carried. Nowadays, many places commonly offer portobellos, cremini and sometimes shiitakes; some upscale groceries and green markets carry, in season, exotics such as oysters, chanterelles, trumpets, hen of the woods, morels, porcini and others. Year round, these exotic varieties, dried, are just a click away on the Internet. 

 Here are some possibilities.


Fresh shiitakes are easy to find but are available dried as well. Their flavor is not very strong and can be used as you would common white ones or cremini. 

This sauce recipe employs Asian flavors and is filled with umami. It would work well with chicken or pork and could be used to top rice. 

However, I’ve always loved green veggies served with lots of butter and sliced mushrooms. So I tried the sauce with sugar snap peas. The fresh taste and sweetness of the peas contrasts commendably with the complex, deep, rich taste of the sauce. Add a bit of crunch and interest by topping the dish with toasted sesame seeds.

To serve, rather than mixing all ingredients, plate individually as shown in the photo. That will add visual charm and intrigue as diners focus on the exotic nature of the dish.

Serves 6-8


1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced, or 1/3 cup dried shiitakes

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated, or 1/2 tablespoon dried ginger


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl for 10-30 minutes. Do not go over 30 minutes. Gently heat just before serving.

  2. If  using with sugar snap peas, allocate 1/4 cup of peas per person. If desired, remove the strings. Briefly steam, place on dish, top with sauce and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on that.

Chanterelles and Baby Bellos

Chanterelles are prized for their meaty texture with flavor that is slightly nutty, slightly fruity. I used dried chanterelles and fresh baby bellos in a sauce that I served with a roasted pork loin that guests pronounced quite delicious. The sauce should also be great on chicken or a white fish.

Serves 6


1 ounce dried chanterelles

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, thinly sliced

8 ounces baby bellos, sliced

1 cup dry sherry

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons corn starch

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Hydrate the chanterelles by soaking them in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain.

  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet on medium. Add the shallots and stir for about 3 minutes, until beginning to turn color.

  3. Add the chanterelles and baby bellos. Stir and add the sherry, chicken stock and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. In a separate bowl, add 2 tablespoons cold water to the corn starch. Stir well, making sure all the corn starch has dissolved. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened.

Porcini and Portobellos

You will find a pasta dish with porcini mushroom sauce on the menu of most Italian restaurants. I love such a sauce on pasta, but also on pork or chicken. This one is especially rich, incorporating a favorite quartet of mine, onion or shallots, pork (bacon, pancetta or, in this case, prosciutto), white wine and heavy cream.

Serves 6


1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small yellow onion, in small dice

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 cups portobello mushrooms in small pieces

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 pound prosciutto di Parma, in small pieces

Parmigiano Reggiano for passing

Salt and pepper to taste

Note: If you use this sauce for pasta, you may wish to make it saucier by adding 2-4 tablespoons pasta water


  1. Hydrate the porcini in hot water for 10-20 minutes.

  2. Heat olive oil and butter in skillet on medium. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the porcini and portobellos and cook for about 5 minutes, until portobellos begin to give up their liquid.

  4. Add wine and cream and cook, stirring, for about 5 more minutes.

  5. Add the prosciutto and cook for about 2 minutes.

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1 Comment

Thank you Luci for these scrumptious mushroom recipes. ✨

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