You can make ceviche from mushrooms and you heard it here!
Ceviche is a fish preparation that originated along the northern coast of South America, where raw fish gets “cooked” with citrus juice. The citrus juice helps to kill any pathogens, changing the texture from raw to cooked without changing the delicate flavours.
I tasted something like this, oddly, at Mercado de Antón Martín, a food market in Madrid. This isn’t a touristy market, it’s where the locals shop, and for that reason, it’s hard to arrive at the right time. My first visit was pointless as it was siesta time. But on my second visit, only a few stalls were open, and it was at a stall called El Mono de la Pila, a teeny little Chilean restaurant that I tried this unique ceviche (obviously made with mushrooms).
I watched as they made a fresh bowl for me, by first soaking the mushrooms in hot water and then topping with a citrusy dressing containing passionfruit and orange juice.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
There may be no better example of food as medicine than mushrooms. In China, shiitake mushrooms have been used as medicine for the past 6000 years. Button mushrooms have grown wild since prehistoric times and were eaten by hunter gatherers. In Rome, Russia and Mexico, mushrooms were believed to be food of the gods, giving superhuman strength.
Both shiitake and crimini mushrooms support cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system to remove both viruses and cancerous cells. Plus, they’re both rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
Mushrooms aren’t even plants – they don’t contain roots, leaves, flowers or seeds as plants do. Mushrooms belong to a separate biological kingdom called funghi (along with molds and yeasts).
Mushrooms contain more protein than most vegetables, and for this reason, this ceviche is a great main course for vegetarians or vegans (if making a vegan version, replace the honey with maple syrup). Interestingly, mushrooms have been found to contain small amounts of vegetarian forms of Vitamin D and B12, two elusive nutrients in the vegan diet.
Be sure to buy organic or “forest farmed” mushrooms for the highest quality and nutrients.
Here’s my take on El Mono’s mushroom ceviche recipe. It’s plant-based, raw, and makes a great main or side dish.
- Mushroom Ceviche Recipe
- 1 pint cremini mushrooms (a mix of cremini and shiitake is perfect if you can find it, or buy one pint of each and mix them)
- 1 container enoki mushrooms
- ¼ red onion, sliced paper thin
- 1 mango, cut into small dice
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- A few mint leaves, chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 medium orange, juiced
- 1 hot red pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 peach, cut into miniscule dice (I used around 1/2 cup of fresh corn kernels as I had them on hand, you could also use a small mango)
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- sprinkle of salt
- Fill a large bowl with hot (not boiling) water and add all mushrooms. Keep submerged for 1-2 minutes. Drain. (You may need to squeeze the spongy enoki and shiitake mushrooms to remove excess water.)
- Meanwhile, put the dressing ingredients in a bowl and shake to combine.
- Prepare the ceviche ingredients: remove the stems from the shiitakes and slice the tops, slice the creminis, and cut the enokis away from their base and separate their stems and tops as best you can. Chop the mango and herbs.
- Put everything in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Let sit for at least ten minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve.