Mushroom ketchup Recipe

This intensely savoury condiment has been enjoyed in England for centuries, far longer than the Johnny-comelately tomato version. It’s great for adding a kick to all manner of dishes, from shepherd’s pie to gravies, soups and stews. It’s the secret, savoury weapon in many a dedicated cook’s culinary arsenal.




2 hours

3 months

Mushroom ketchup

Ingredients list

Makes approx. 700ml.

1.2kg mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons sea salt flakes
50g dried porcini mushrooms
200ml red wine vinegar
4 shallots, very finely diced
2 tablespoons light muscovado sugar

For the spice mixture
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon allspice berries
½ teaspoon whole cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Bottles with vinegar-proof lids
Kitchen string
Preserving pan or large, non-reactive saucepan

Number of servings

4 to 6 servings

Jar suggestion

Le Parfait Super Jars

Le Parfait Super Jar 0.75l

All products


  1. Layer the mushrooms in a non-reactive bowl, sprinkling salt between each layer and then on top. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring and pressing down on the mushrooms with a wooden spoon a couple of times as they macerate.
  2. When you’re ready to make the ketchup, put the dried porcini into a small bowl and pour over 250ml boiling water. Leave to soak for an hour, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Line a sieve with muslin and pour the soaking liquid through it into a jug to remove any grit.
  3. Tie the spice mixture into a circle of muslin with kitchen string.
  4. Put the sliced mushrooms and any liquid from their bowl into the pan. Add the dried mushrooms, their soaking liquid and the rest of the ingredients, including the spice bag. Bring to the boil, lower the temperature and simmer for about 1½ hours, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is very thick.
  5. Remove the spice bag and blitz the mushrooms in a food processor or blender until very smooth. You may have to do this in batches. Return to the cleaned pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour through a funnel into warm, sterilized bottles and seal. Allow to mature for a week before using.

The ketchup will keep for 3 months, unopened, in a cool, dark place. After opening, refrigerate and use within a week.



From Gifts from the Garden by Debora Robertson, published by Kyle Books, priced in UK at £16.99. 

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