It took me a long time to fall in love with mushrooms.
As a kid, I thought of them as stinky things that I refused to touch. When I got older, I was willing to give them a try once in a while, but I didn’t love the flavor and thought it was overpowering.
Then I went to a steakhouse here in Denver that makes the best sauteed mushrooms I’ve ever tasted. I was apprehensive about trying them at first, given my history with fungi. But after enough coaxing from my friends, I was convinced to take a bite.
The umami flavor exploded across my taste buds, and since then, I’ve been hooked.
I even asked the waiter to tell me what the basic ingredients were in this life-changing dish, and I discovered that it was a touch of soy sauce and pungent garlic that brought out the extra flavor notes that I enjoyed so immensely.
My love for fungi continued to grow, and my mom and I went foraging in North Carolina.
It was such a lovely adventure, pulling them from the ground in the deep green forest. And when we were done, our hosts sauteed some on the spot over a campfire – with garlic and soy sauce.
I fell even more deeply in love with this combination of flavors, enjoyed al fresco.
This recipe takes my favorite ingredients to pair with the meaty fungi and makes them sing. With just a handful of flavorful basics, you will be well on your way to diving face first into a seriously tasty side dish.
One of my favorite savory indulgences to enjoy with these is a perfect pan seared steak. The golden brown slices really bring out the flavor of the meat, and vice versa.
Caramelization is key here, for the best possible flavor. To get a nice sear, you start by sauteing them in butter. But the most important thing to remember is to refrain from constantly stirring them.
The slices need to be left alone, so set a timer and busy yourself with other things for those few minutes so they can cook undisturbed. Be sure to give them plenty of room in a large pan, so they’ll brown nicely rather than steaming.
Next, the simple sauce provides added richness. You’ll want to put these on everything from steak to chicken to pork. I even like to top leftover rice with them for a quick lunch. Or, give these serving suggestions a try:
- Add them to a meaty cheese pizza.
- Stir them into your favorite pasta dish.
- Pile them on top of toasted bread for truly delightful crostini.
I love to use the button variety to make this side dish, and these are easy to find at most grocery stores. They aren’t fancy or fussy.
But feel free to use this recipe to prepare other types if that’s what you prefer. Shiitake, chanterelle, and oyster would all make great options.Print
The rich and deep flavor of sauteed mushrooms makes a fantastic addition to so many meals. Serve them on top of steak or alongside roast chicken.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 16 ounces sliced button mushrooms, stems removed
- 1/3 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil. When the butter is melted, add mushrooms in a single layer, with a little room between each. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, tossing them gently halfway through.
- Stir in soy sauce, thyme, and garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and the sauce has reduced slightly. Serve immediately.
- Category: Vegetable
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Side Dish
Keywords: mushroom, soy sauce, thyme
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Remove the stems, wash the mushrooms gently, and pat them dry with paper towels. Slice them, and set them aside.
Remove the stems from a few sprigs of thyme, and measure out 1/2 teaspoon.
Peel and mince two cloves of garlic.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Cook
Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add the butter and oil once it’s hot. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced fungi to the pan.
Be sure to spread them out in a single layer without any overlap so they will have room to brown evenly, and give them a gentle toss about halfway through. It will take about 5 minutes total for them to take on a light golden brown color.
Step 3 – Finish and Serve
Add the soy sauce, thyme, and garlic to the pan, and give everything a stir to combine the ingredients.
Cook for about 3 to 4 more minutes, until the slices are a rich golden brown, and the sauce has had a chance to reduce a bit. Remove from heat and serve.
Can I Make These Ahead of Time?
In my experience with this particular recipe, it is definitely best when you make it fresh and you are ready to serve it immediately. This side dish can be reheated, but I find the flavor and texture just doesn’t have the same impact.
Since they take so little time to cook, there’s really no reason to have to make them ahead of time. Avoid this if you can!
Craving even more delicious mushroom dishes to add to your repertoire? Try these recipes from Foodal next:
- Easy Chicken with Rosemary
- A Different Take on Stuffed Mushrooms
- Bring Italy to Your Table with Rigatoni di Gregorio
What’s your favorite type of dish that features tasty fungi? Have you always loved the flavor and texture? Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to rate this recipe once you try it for yourself!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 05, 2010. Last updated on January 15, 2021. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.