Wild Mushroom Caviar (“Ikra” in Russian; literal meaning: “caviar”) is a staple of Russian cuisine. That’s a delicious mushroom spread cooked with onions, garlic, and herbs.Jump to Recipe
Hello everyone – happy almost Friday! I hope you are enjoying the early autumn.
Now, who is excited about another Russian recipe? I haven’s shared any for a while, and here we are. Before we talk about this recipe, you can check more.
What’s Wild Mushroom Caviar?
Funny name, isn’t it? I am not sure about where did this name originate from. But there was obviously a thing for this name in Soviet and Russian cuisine. Besides mushroom version, there’s Zucchini Caviar and Eggplant Caviar. They all are so different but equally delicious!
Basically, this is a mushroom dip or spread that cooked with some oil, onions, garlic, and herbs. As the name states, I used wild mushrooms. Specifically I used here mushrooms of the “Boletus edulis” family such as porcini and red cups. By the way we have plenty growing in the forest area around our house, so I foraged them for this recipe!
However, you can use whatever mushrooms you have. I would suggest wild mushrooms, either foraged or cultivated on a farm (King Bolete, chanterelles, red cups, Penny bun, etc.) If you don’t have any, you can use mushrooms you can get in your grocery store such as button mushrooms, cremini, or portobello.
How to Make Wild Mushroom Caviar?
The recipe and list of ingredients are simple. However, while the idea is similar, I significantly altered recipe to make it way healthier. For instance, most caviar recipes require so much oil, but my method calls for just a little amount. Also, most recipes don’t really use any herbs and seasonings, except for salt and pepper, but I created a more strong flavour profile.
Interestingly, there’s a unique way to cook wild mushrooms in Russia. For most recipes, wild mushrooms get boiled first then drained and cooked. I don’t really know what’s the reason for doing that. Wild mushrooms are safe to consume, and they don’t really require extra cooking. And if you use King Bolete (Perhaps, the most delicious wild mushroom), boiling them would be almost a crime! I think since most Soviet and Russian recipes referred to foraged mushrooms, that was an extra step to remove the dust, soil, and even small insects (Of course, you should cut and check the mushroom if there’s a sign of it being eaten by insects. Still a few might be just invisible!)
Since I used wild foraged mushrooms, I used this method to quickly cook them in water, just for a minute or so. Then got rid of the water (It will have some foam on top which is totally fine.) and quickly rinsed them and continued cooking. You don’t need to boil them 30 minutes as some Russian recipes suggest. Remember: mushrooms will absorb water, but our goal would be to cook it down anyway.
If you use farm-cultivated or store-bought mushrooms, there’s no need to do this step as they are clean. You can use a soft towel to remove dust or very quickly rinse under water. Just don’t soak them!
How to Serve it
So many ways! My favourite would be just with some toasted bread. Also, you can serve it as a side spread with potatoes, rice, vegetables, and even chicken. Or you crab a spoon and simply enjoy it.
How to Store it
Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for about 3-4 days. You can significantly extend its shelf life by using sterilized jars. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes prior to serving.
I hope you this Wild Mushroom Caviar, and you will give it a try soon. If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share you photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.
Wild Mushroom CaviarCourse: Uncategorized
Wild Mushroom Caviar (“Ikra” in Russian; literal meaning: “caviar”) is a staple of Russian cuisine. That’s a delicious mushroom spread cooked with onions, garlic, and herbs.
about 2 lb. wild mushrooms, farm-cultivated or foraged (Such as porcini / boletus, chanterelles, etc.)
2 large onions, finely chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 tbsp. butter
about 2/3 to 1 tbsp. of salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried dill
a pinch of chipotle and white pepper
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (optional)
- If You Use Foraged Mushrooms
- Clean the mushrooms from dirt, soil, and leaves. If you foraged them, check there’s no sign of the mushroom being eaten by insects from the inside (Numerous black spots) – otherwise discard a spoiled piece or the entire mushroom. Chop them into bitesize pieces (Don’t make them too small as they will release the water and shrink.
- Place the mushrooms into a large heavy-bottom pan over high heat. Add enough water just to cover the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and cook just about 1 minute. You will see the foam which is totally fine. That foam might look dark as it accumulates all the dust and soil.
- Remove the mushrooms and put them in a colander. Rinse with running water for 15-20 seconds making sure to remove that foam.
- If You Use Farm-Cultivated and Store-Bought Mushrooms
- If you use farm-cultivated or store bough mushrooms, skip first 3 steps as they are cleaner. Just remove dirt, if any, using paper towel. If they appear dirtier, quickly rinse them for about 10 seconds. Do not soak!
- Place the mushrooms back to the pan. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, to cook the water content down. Stir occasionally.
- When the mushrooms start sticking to the bottom of the pan (After releasing and then evaporating the water), reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the olive oil butter, onions, garlic, salt, and other herbs and seasonings. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
- While cooking, the mushrooms absorb the oil quickly. You do not need to add more oil. Instead, add a little amount (2-3 tbsp. at once) every time you feel the mushrooms are getting to dry. It all depends on type of the mushrooms as well as how mush of water they absorbed during the cleaning / rinsing. Generally, you might need to add some water every 3-5 minutes or so.
- When you add the last few spoons of water, let it evaporate and cook another few minutes, stirring often, to allow them to brown a bit.
- Optionally, add the apple cider vinegar, cook for another minutes, and turn the heat off.
- Try and adjust seasoning, if needed. Most likely, you might need to add more salt.
- Let it cool in the pan. Transfer to a container and keep refrigerated. Enjoy within up to 4 days. Serve on toasts, as a spread / dip or as a side with potatoes, rice, vegetables, etc.
Hi – I’m Ben, a blogger, recipe developer, and food photographer. I’m glad you’re here! I hope you will enjoy hundreds of delicious recipes and a pinch of havoc in the kitchen.