Marinated Mushrooms, Sichuan-Style Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Make Ahead

by: Josh Cohen



5 Ratings

  • Serves 2-4

Jump to Recipe

Author Notes

This recipe is inspired by a cold Sichuan appetizer that I enjoy in New York City Sichuan restaurants. The NYC version of this dish features thinly shaved pieces of beef and honeycomb tripe. The meat is slick with chili oil, and garnished with cilantro and crushed peanuts. I love the flavor combination of chili oil, cilantro, and peanuts so much that I decided to adapt the recipe and replace the beef with mixed mushrooms. The texture of mixed mushrooms can mimic that of beef and tripe, making this a compelling opportunity for vegetarians and/or tripe skeptics to enjoy a combination of flavors that I often crave. This recipe isn’t authentic or traditional (nor is it trying to be), but it's tasty.

For the mushrooms: I used crimini, royal trumpet, oyster, and wood ear mushrooms—aim for a variety of shapes, textures, and colors. Clean and remove stems as necessary. Thin slices of mushroom will absorb more flavor than thick pieces. —Josh Cohen

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 cupsvegetable stock
  • 3/4 teaspoonfennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoonSichuan peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspooncinnamon
  • 3 tablespoonspeanut oil (substitute canola oil or grapeseed oil if you need to)
  • 1 poundmixed mushrooms (see note)
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cupshaoxing rice wine (substitute sake or manzanilla sherry if you need to)
  • 1/2 teaspoonsugar
  • 2 teaspoonssoy sauce
  • 2 tablespoonsfinely cut cilantro stems
  • 1/4 cupfinely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoonschili oil
  • 1 teaspoontoasted sesame oil
  • 1 handfultoasted salted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 handfulroughly chopped cilantro leaves
  1. Add the vegetable stock to a small pot set over high heat. Reduce the stock until there's 1/2 cup of liquid remaining. When the stock is reduced, set it aside.
  2. While the stock is reducing, prepare your spices by toasting the fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns in a dry skillet set over medium heat. When you can smell the spices in the hot skillet, remove them to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add the cinnamon and grind the spices until everything looks crushed and mixed together. Set the spice mixture aside.
  3. When the stock is finished reducing, set a large pot or dutch oven over high heat and add the peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Stir regularly, and when the mushrooms begin to soften, season them with salt and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 2 additional minutes, then add the wine, sugar, soy sauce, and the spice mixture that you prepared earlier. Cook until the wine has nearly fully evaporated.
  4. When the wine has nearly fully evaporated, add the 1/2 cup of reduced vegetable stock. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the amount of liquid at the bottom of the pot looks like an appropriate amount of sauce for the mushrooms (think about the sauce ratio that you enjoy when eating pasta, and aim for that).
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cilantro stems, celery, chili oil, and toasted sesame oil. Stir to combine. When the mushrooms have cooled to room temperature, store them in the refrigerator and allow them to marinate for at least 2 hours (but preferably overnight). The mushrooms can be served cold or at room temperature. Moments before serving, toss the mushrooms with the crushed peanuts and cilantro leaves. Enjoy.


  • Chinese
  • Vegetable
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Fennel
  • Mushroom
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Make Ahead
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Devereux

  • Josh Cohen

  • noknok

  • Chris Glenn

Popular on Food52

11 Reviews

noknok November 8, 2020

I had no Sichuan peppercorns, so just used regular black peppercorns. And no chili oil either, so I added the tiniest pinch of cayenne instead. Loved the flavor, even if it was off the intended mark. The mushrooms really soak up the flavor here. And that flavor is intense, so it paired well with simple stir-fried green beans and tofu with ginger & garlic. Didn’t add salt to the tofu dish (as I’d normally do), because the mushrooms already bring such a strong, salty punch.

Chris G. June 1, 2020

Chef Josh:
Wow, I completely forgot about the post of this recipe! My experiment with growing Cilantro for the roots failed miserably! We don't have room for a real garden and tried growing the cilantro in a plastic tub! I'm not sure if it was the weather or my lack of green thumbs! I have not yet tried your recipe, but will soon!
It sounds wonderful.

mstv May 29, 2020

Excellent! Made a large batch (1.5x recipe) for the two of us and had as a side dish for various Sichuan meals. Today we ate the last of these tossed with some glass noodles, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame. Highly recommended. I did use chicken stock because that is what I had on hand. This was delicious.

Josh C. May 29, 2020

Thanks for the comment, so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Karen D. March 9, 2017

How do you serve this wonderful mushroom dish. On its own, on crostini?

Josh C. March 9, 2017

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your interest in this recipe. You could serve these mushrooms with rice. Or, you could serve them as a side dish, accompanying a main protein or alongside a soup entree or with another hearty vegetarian dish.

The bold flavors of this dish pair well with simple, lightly seasoned items (like roasted chicken or veggies) or with other Chinese dishes (especially Sichuan food). I wouldn't put these mushrooms on a crostini. It would be fun to stuff them inside a spring roll though...

Chris G. February 27, 2017

Chef Josh Cohen:
This weather has been so weird her in Washington State this year, I don't know if I can grow anything this year, but I bough a packet of Cilantro Seeds and I'm going to try growing Cilantro for the roots! I've found some amazing South-East Asian Cooking Web Sites on the internet and they all talk about how much extra flavor, the plants roots add to the recipes! Nobody sells the plants with roots here in stores I frequent! i think I''ll try throwing a couple roots in with the stems in this recipe?

Josh C. February 27, 2017

Hi Chris Glenn,

I love your idea to experiment with cilantro roots. To be honest, I do not have much experience working with the roots of fresh herbs (sometimes I see parsley roots at the farmers market but that's the extent of it). If you end up working with the roots, please let me know what your experience is like.

rachel February 14, 2017

Didn't click on this article the first few times I saw it circulating Twitter/FB/home page because "marinated mushrooms" is probably the least sexy thing I ever heard buuuut having actually read the recipe (and its context) I am so intrigued. Love the non-traditional pairing of all the different spices. How does it compare to the original restaurant version it was inspired by?

Josh C. February 14, 2017

Hi Rachel,

To be honest, I think that the flavor of this mushroom dish really does capture the essence of the original restaurant version that it was inspired by. Initially, I thought this dish would be a story about chili oil, but over time I realized that the chili oil is really part of a more complex sauce (with the reduced stock, cilantro, celery, peanuts, and dry spices). Thanks for your interest in this recipe. If you cook it, I'll be interested to know how it turns out for you.

rachel February 14, 2017

Definitely cooking it, it sounds amazing!

Marinated Mushrooms, Sichuan-Style Recipe on Food52 (2024)


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