Fermented Mushrooms with Garlic and Rosemary

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Learn how to make the most delicious fermented mushrooms with garlic and rosemary. Fermenting mushrooms is easy! You can ferment mushrooms in just 48 hours with this simple method.

Can You Ferment Mushrooms?

Over the years, many people have asked me if it’s possible to ferment mushrooms. The simple answer is yes!

However, I do not recommend wild fermentation. Wild fermentation is when you add vegetables to a salt brine and allow the wild microbes on the surface of the vegetables to facilitate fermentation in an anaerobic environment.

Instead, I recommend a unique fermentation process that I call wild heirloom culturing. It’s a type of lacto fermentation process I came up with to ferment higher-sugar vegetables.

a cloudy jar of fermented mushrooms with a sprig of rosemary in the jar.

What is Wild Heirloom Culturing?

This method employs fermented sauerkraut brine (or any fermented vegetable brine; brine is the liquid in a jar of already fermented vegetables) and apple cider vinegar to ferment fresh vegetables. The wild heirloom cultures found in the fermented brine ferment the vegetables.

This fermentation method is more similar to yogurt fermentation than to something like sauerkraut fermentation… and it’s very similar to refrigerator pickling, but this recipe has beneficial microbes included.

a view from the top, showing a wide mouth mason jar filled with fermenting mushrooms.

Fermented Mushrooms

Certain mushrooms naturally contain a lot of fermentable sugars called FODMAPs. If you try to wild ferment high FODMAP fruits or vegetables, it usually leads to alcohol fermentation instead of lacto fermentation.

So if you can ferment in already acidic brine with many Lactobacillus already present, you can skip the first two stages of wild fermentation (you know, the part with all the bubbles). Lactobacillus bacteria only make lactic acid; they can’t make alcohol. So the mushrooms still ferment, but only the desirable fermentation occurs.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to wild ferment mushrooms in a salt brine. However, it is difficult and not consistently successful. Oftentimes, it ends up quite gross.

Other high FODMAP vegetables that can be difficult to wild ferment include garlic, onions, asparagus, artichokes, beets, and zucchini. Again, it’s not impossible to wild ferment these. It’s simply easier and tastier to use wild heirloom culturing.

Lacto Fermented Mushrooms

Another reason we want to use wild heirloom culturing for lacto-fermented mushrooms is that we must boil the mushrooms first. Since we boil them, there won’t be any wild microbes on the mushrooms left to start the fermentation.

So we rely on the microbes in fermented sauerkraut brine and apple cider vinegar to ferment the cooked mushrooms.

How to Ferment Mushrooms

You can try different mushrooms for this recipe, but I highly recommend baby portobellos; that’s what is pictured here. Here are all the types of mushrooms I recommend trying in this recipe:

  • baby portobellos
  • shiitake
  • enoki
  • button
  • oyster
a close up of fermented mushrooms in a glass mason jar. The mushrooms and rosemary have fermented and changed to a muted brown color.

Fermented Mushrooms supplies

Supplies you need to ferment mushrooms:

Fermenting Mushrooms

These fermented mushrooms are very easy to make. Since they are made with already fermented vegetable brine and apple cider vinegar, not much can go wrong. You need to remember a few things:

  • Keep your fermenting mushrooms at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F. Keep out of direct sunlight
  • Since this is a fermentation with added cultures from the sauerkraut brine, you only need to ferment the mushrooms for a short time.
  • Keep refrigerated and consume within six months for full probiotic benefits!

More Fermentation Recipes to Try

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Fermented Mushrooms with Garlic and Rosemary

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Learn how to make the most delicious fermented mushrooms with garlic and rosemary. Fermenting mushrooms is easy! You can ferment mushrooms in just 48 hours with this simple method.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minues
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Fermented Vegetables
  • Method: Fermentation

Ingredients

  • 250 grams mushrooms, raw
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup) white vinegar, 5% acidity
  • Water
  • 100 grams apple cider vinegar, 5% acidity
  • 200 grams sauerkraut brine
  • 1 sprig rosemary, fresh
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 5 grams sea salt* (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Wash mushrooms well in warm water, removing any dirt.
  2. Add the mushrooms to a pot with enough water to submerge them. They will float, but there should be enough water in the pot to press them all under the water.
  3. Add the white vinegar.
  4. Bring the mushrooms to a boil for 5 minutes, then drain immediately.
  5. Allow the mushrooms to cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the mushrooms, salt, rosemary, oregano and garlic to a clean glass jar.
  7. Top with the sauerkraut brine and apple cider vinegar.
  8. Close the jar with a lid and shake until it is well mixed.
  9. Allow the mushrooms to culture at room temperature for 48 hours.
  10. Refrigerate immediately and keep refrigerated.

Notes

  • this recipe at 1x works best in a 16 ounce jar.
  • You can leave the salt out for a lower sodium option. With the salt included the saltiness level is similar to brined olives.

Did you make this recipe?

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author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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8 comments

Andrea May 23, 2023 - 5:51 pm

Do you need to use a fermentation weight for this recipe? For the 48 hrs culturing






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 24, 2023 - 8:28 am

You can, but you don’t have to as long as all the mushrooms are in the liquid.

Reply
Charlotte June 4, 2023 - 5:37 am

Hello thank you so much for this blog! I started wild fermenting many years ago (I also have a blog post about it https://abundancedancegarden.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/the-simple-art-of-lacto-fermentation-an-introduction/)

However, I gave up for a while because I was getting inconsistent results, and didn’t want to waste food. Recently my son and I both got ill and I remembered his important it is to have fermented foods in your diet! I’m so happy I found your blog and the clear instructions about ratios.

I just gave a question about this recipe. Is the white vinegar necessary and if so, why? I have white vinegar but I use it only for cleaning, not eating. I’m wondering if the recipe would work with just boiling the mushrooms in water?
Thanks again 🙂

I gave

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley June 7, 2023 - 10:43 am

hi! yes, the vinegar is necessary. You should follow the recipe as it is written. You can use any 5% acidity vinegar though.

Reply
Bill June 17, 2023 - 8:16 pm

I’d love to try this recipe but I’m new to fermenting and need to ask what may be a silly question.

The key ingredient in this recipe seems to be fermented sauerkraut brine. Where does one get fermented sauerkraut brine? Does one have to make sauerkraut or can the liquid from store bought sauerkraut be used? I’m guessing the store bought product has been processed to destroy the active organisms that are required for fermentation.

Any suggestion for sources of fermented brine?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley June 29, 2023 - 7:59 am

Fermented sauerkraut brine is the liquid in fermented sauerkraut. Store-bought is fine, as long as it’s raw fermented sauerkraut.

Reply
Eric April 1, 2024 - 10:26 pm

I don’t claim to be an expert on fermentation or anything, but I’ve successfully made many batches of beet kvass, sauerkraut, and the best kimchi known to man, and I’ve studied a bit about it. From all my research, I’ve found that when you use vinegar, it is NOT considered fermenting. When vinegar is used, it’s called pickling, which leads to a similar flavor, without any of the health benefits of actual fermented foods. I’m a bit confused why this recipe for pickled mushrooms is claiming to to be a recipe for fermented mushrooms. The article mentions that it’s “similar to [refrigerator] pickling”, because it IS pickling.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley April 2, 2024 - 7:10 am

The distinguishing characteristic of pickling is not the presence of vinegar, it’s that pickling does not involve microbial metabolism. This recipe involves a ton of microorganisms. Just like you can use yogurt with live active cultures to culture your next batch of yogurt, this recipe uses sauerkraut brine to culture the mushrooms. The microbes are unharmed by vinegar, alive, active, producing enzymes, and developing the flavor more and more over time. Thus, it is fermented.

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