I like to add all kinds of spices when I am cooking vegetarian or vegan dishes, because they can really enhance and accentuate the natural flavor of the vegetables as well as add different nuances of flavor. A very simple and convenient way to add flavor would be to use bouillon cubes or readymade vegetable broth from a can. The problem with this is the gluten-free vegan bouillon I used to buy is no longer available, and the readymade vegetable broth I like has too much salt and is quite expensive. This motivated me to create a unique, great tasting, healthy vegetable broth myself.
Shiitake mushrooms are widely used in Chinese cuisine and are ideal for enhancing the flavor of all sorts of dishes. It has so much more flavor than the typical grocery store mushrooms. I like it’s smoky, woodsy, and rich flavor that accents vegetables and soups. I like the dried shiitake mushrooms better than the fresh ones, because the flavor is denser and more robust. I bought them at my local Chinese grocery for this broth, because they’re cheaper than at other stores.
Add the soaked and cleaned shiitake mushrooms along with celery stalk, leek, onion, carrots, and a handful of a spice mix into a pressure cooker. Add water and cook for 10 minutes. Strain out the solids but save the carrots and mushrooms since they make a great chewy appetizer if you season them with chili oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar.
This homemade mushroom vegetable broth is definitely a flavor enhancer. You can freeze the extra in a container and use it whenever you need to. It is handy, healthy, and thrifty.
This homemade mushroom vegetable broth is a flavor enhancer. You can freeze it in a container and use it whenever you need to. It is healthy and thrifty.
- 6 medium size dried shiitake mushroom
- 6 ribs celery
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 4 medium carrots peeled and ends removed,
- 1 medium leek white and pale green parts only
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 10 whole cloves
- ½ tsp dill seeds
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch parsley
- 9 cups water
- Rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water. Approximately 30 minutes. After the shiitake mushrooms are soft, cut into ½-inch wide strips.
- Cut celery, leak, and carrots into 1-inch long chunks.
- Place all ingredients in pressure cooker if used. Follow the instructions of the pressure cooker and cook 10 minutes with a very low heat. Let pressure drop of its own accord.
- Strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the vegetables, herbs, and spices. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.
1. If you use a regular pot instead of pressure cooker, dice the celery, carrots, and leeks. Cover the pot with lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. The cooked mushrooms and carrots can be used as an appetizer/salad or added to soup or pasta.