Mushrooms are not known for being highly flavorful and are usually used more for their ability to provide textural variety and bulk to a savory dish. They can take on the flavors of seasonings in a dish, which significantly enhances them. Give your mushrooms some extra flavor with the best spices for mushrooms listed below.
Garlic is one of the most important savory seasonings and is a key seasoning in many (if not most) savory dishes from around the world. It brings an earthy pungency that enhances the umami character of meat and vegetable dishes, as well as those that contain fungi. Garlic is an essential seasoning for mushrooms, whether you are making a pasta sauce, a stir-fried dish, or breaded and deep-fried mushrooms.
Fresh garlic is best in most applications, including pickled mushrooms, but garlic powder is the preferred form when making the breading for deep-fried mushrooms.
Onions are an important all-purpose seasoning that belong to the same botanical family as garlic. Like garlic, this seasoning is reserved for savory dishes and adds a sharp and pungent herbaceousness to them.
There are many different kinds of onions that provide its distinctive flavor to differing degrees. That flavor profile is key for mushrooms however you intend to cook them. Onions enhance mushrooms in soups, roasts, and stir-fries. Onion powder is a key ingredient in breaded and deep-fried mushrooms and pickles as well.
One of the more versatile spices, black peppercorns make an excellent seasoning for mushrooms no matter how you plan to serve them. They provide a little heat with a hint of lemony citrus that works in stews, the batter for deep-fried mushrooms, and the brine for pickled mushrooms.
Bay leaves come from the bay laurel tree and are best known for their use in stews and other dishes that braise for a long time. You will also see them used in the brine for pickles. Mushrooms show up in both types of dishes and can be significantly enhanced by the woodsy, camphoraceous intensity of the bay leaf flavor. A little goes a long way with this herb, which can strengthen the brothy and meaty qualities of some dried mushrooms.
Allspice is the ground spice that comes from the dried berry of a plant that grows almost exclusively on the island of Jamaica. Allspice is known for its role in the pumpkin pie spice blend and shows up in some blends for apple pie spice.
It is also important for pickling in general and is one of the key spices for pickled mushrooms. The allspice name comes from the fact that it tastes like a blend of several popular spices, including cinnamon and cloves.
White vinegar is the best vinegar for any pickling brine, including a brine that you would use for pickling mushrooms. It contributes simple acidity without adding any flavors that might clash with those of your pickling spices. In addition to offering a clean flavor, it makes a clear brine that won’t discolor your mushrooms or other pickle ingredients.
Mushrooms are commonly paired with tomatoes in everything from pasta sauces to pizza. There is no better herb for tomato-based dishes than oregano.
A member of the mint family, oregano has a bright, woodsy note similar to thyme and marjoram but not as sweet. It is perfect for bringing flavor to mushrooms, whether they are being served with tomatoes or not.