Discovering the art of Vild Mad in Denmark
Our frequent attempts at foraging in Denmark inspired this recipe for pickled mushrooms.
Within hours of our arrival in Denmark, Jennifer commented on the ripening rosehips swaying heavily on their bushes. It didn’t take long for us to start plucking them off and adding them to our recipes. We even made a rose petal vinegar while we were there, and you can expect more on that soon.
We weren’t the only ones pulling fruits and other goodies from the public lands. Turns out the Danes are crazy about Vild Mad or wild food. Based on our experience, foraging is an everyday act of being Danish, or at least in Jutland it seems to be. We spotted people doing it all over. On the beaches, in the forests and around the dune plantations. There’s even a great app called Vild Mad. With a simple design and crowd sourced information, it seeks to hold your hand as you hunt for goodies along the Jutland peninsula like we did.
Foraging for Mushrooms
It took us a while to build some confidence. But after discovering sea beans, crow berries, black berries, sea lettuce, blueberries, portobello mushrooms and more, we felt ready on the last day of our trip to hunt for Denmark’s woodland gold: the elusive chanterelle. Somewhere on the Isle of Laeso, we stopped the van at the sight of 2 bicycles lying on the side of the road. I was convinced the owners of those bikes had a secret stash of chanties. We never crossed paths with whomever had wandered into those woods before us, but we did find some flaxen toadstools. (See the mostly comedic results of our excursion in the video below.)
Despite our disappointment in our foraging process that day, we never lost faith in the divine fungus. Although the mushrooms we used for this recipe were bought at the market, the end result is a blend of mushrooms with silk-like texture in a slightly spiced, lemony pickle. Using our own homemade fish sauce, the flavor is mild and sweet. I found myself snacking on them as finger food; however, they would go well in smorrebrod, a danish tartine, or would add complexity to a salad.
The recipe for fish sauce pickled mushrooms is below.
Mushrooms pickled in fishsauce
- 120 gram small button mushrooms
- 120 ml apple cider vinegar
- 60 ml fish sauce
- 120 ml water
- 1/2 ts sechuan pepper
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 10 grams ginger
- 2 tbs dried red chilies
- 1 ts lemon zeste
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- Combine all ingredients except the mushrooms in a bowl and warm au bain marie for 20 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, let cool and infuse overnight at room temperature.
- Strain the cooled pickling liquid the following day and mix with the mushrooms. Allow to macerate for 30 min, mixing occasionally. Then make sure the mushrooms are submerged under the pickle liquid and refrigerate. They will keep for approximately 1 month.