I almost can’t believe it myself, but this mushroom jerky is THE BOMB, YO’S!
A little while back, I saw a recipe from three foragers about how to make jerky out of Hen-Of-The-Woods. I love Hen-Of-The-Woods, but it’s not quite season, and I’m not that good at finding it. I posted the recipe to a friend of mine that is really good at finding wild mushrooms – she really has the gift – and then I thought maybe I’d try making them out of King Oyster mushrooms.
King Oyster mushrooms have a very meaty texture reminiscent of seafood. They’re large, pliable, and absolutely delicious. Usually, we make King Oysters into a vegan “scallop,” by marinating and pan-frying, which is absolutely delicious and way cheaper than buying fresh sea scallops.
So I was thinking about this jerky and maybe it would work with the King Oyster, and guess what! OMG it did!
The first thing I did was slice the mushrooms at 1/8″ thick on a mandoline. Next time, I’ll make them at least 1/4″ — more on that later. Then, I boiled them for 10 minutes and prepared the marinade. I did alter the 3 foragers’ recipe just a little bit to compensate for what I had on hand. I also omitted the sugar because the apple cider is full of natural sugar.
I layered the warm, freshly-boiled mushroom slices in the marinade dish like a basketweave to help the mushrooms stay under the liquid. Occasionally, I would take the dish out of the refrigerator and gently move the liquid around to ensure adequate soaking/ coating.
Because it was a rainy day, we decided to wait until the humidity lowered before we put the mushrooms in the dehydrator. We put them in a couple hours before bed — just long enough to check in on the progress before dreamtime.
I let the dehydrator run until about 4am, when I woke up to drink some water. When we sampled them this morning, we were pleasantly surprised at their meaty, chewy texture. By the end of the day, we noticed we had chewed through the whole batch! We have more King Oysters (because we were planning to make “scallops,” and have now decided to just use those to make more jerky to snack on during our foraging walks.
We’ve got the next batch going, and this time I sliced them at 1/4″ instead of 1/8″ because you can see how transparent they got once dehydrated. If those are still too thin, then I’ll make really, big, fat slices out of ’em and see where that gets me.
I would think this would work really well with any mushroom, specifically the big portobello caps, or even the big button mushrooms the groceries sell for stuffing. The marinade can be anything you want, but I recommend the apple cider / soy sauce base that 3 foragers used. The only major adjustment I made was the addition of liquid smoke, but I’d bet that smoked paprika would work, too.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can do it in the oven on a very low setting overnight, especially if you have a convection oven. Let me know if you try it!