Wild Mushroom Syrup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    ⅔ cup

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This richly flavored condiment is the kind of thing you may never have considered making, but once you do, you’ll find yourself using it on everything. I drizzle it on seared or grilled seafood such as scallops or halibut, on pasta and rice, and over warm salads. You can scale up the batch to make enough for special little gifts from your kitchen. It’s also a great way to use fresh mushrooms that are a little over-the-hill and any shiitake stems— you know ... the ones you’ve saved in your freezer for months.


  1. 1 ounce dried porcini or field mushrooms (about 1 cup)
  2. pounds mixed fresh mushrooms, such as crimini, oyster, and shiitake, cleaned
  3. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  6. ¾ cup medium-bodied white or red wine
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Place the dried porcini in 1 cup of water and soak for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Carefully lift out the porcini, strain the soaking water through a coffee filter, and reserve the liquid. Chop the porcini. Coarsely chop the fresh mushrooms and set aside.

Heat the butter in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for a minute or so, until the vegetables just begin to soften, then add the fresh and dried mushrooms. Turn the heat up to high and sauté until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the strained soaking water along with the wine and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes to reduce by at least half. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Remove the pan from the heat.

Set a strainer over a clean saucepan, and pour the mushrooms and liquid into the strainer, pressing down heavily on the solids to extract all the liquid. Over high heat, continue to boil and reduce the liquid until it thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Warm before using.