Thursday, March 1, 2007


Best Blog Tips
My "Neatball" Pho (a Vietnamese soup; see more pics below), minus the veggies, cooked in mushroom broth.

I use mushroom broth in some of my seitan recipes, and in recipes that call for a "meaty" broth.

One tasty broth, Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base contains "cultured whey"! (You have to also look out for beef fat in some “vegetarian" bouillons.)

But here are some that ARE vegan:

My favorite is Star brand, which is an Italian brand, but it's hard to find in my neck of he woods. On the (brown) box it says “Porcini Dado”, which means “porcini bouillon”. Here is a US online source. Star is distributed in the USA by Ranieri Corp., 281 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211.  Star products are distributed by Italpasta Ltd. In Canada. I can find the mushroom cubes in some Italian markets in Vancouver.

Here is a porcini mushroom powder (from Pistol River, OR), available online at a very reasonable price. Amazon also carries various brands. You can make a rich-tasting broth using 1 cup of your favorite vegetarian bouillon with 1/2 Tbs. of the porcini powder mixed in!

Not recommended:
Harvest Sun is a US organic brand, but I think it's far too salty and lacking mushroom flavor.

I tried Pacific Foods Organic Mushroom Broth in a carton and I wasn't impressed. It had a strong onion odor as soon as I opened the carton, and more onion flavor than mushroom.

It's too bad the organic mushroom broths I've tried do not make the grade in the kitchen!

WANT TO MAKE YOUR OWN? It's easy and delicious:


1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
12 cups good vegetarian broth or bouillon (a tasty one that is not too salty-- homemade or commercial)
2 oz. (2 1/2 cups) dried mushrooms-- preferable boletus or porcini, or a wild mushroom mix, or shiitake

The kind I bought at Costco

Saute the onions and garlic in the Earth Balance or oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick pot until they start to brown. Add the broth and dried mushrooms and bring to a boil. Turn down, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let the stock cool. Strain off the solids.

The mushrooms after cooking and straining

You can freeze the mushrooms to use in other dishes. The broth can be frozen in 2 cup or 1 cup freezer containers, or in ice cube trays (2 tbs. per cube). the cubes can then be stored in zipper-lock bags.

Yield: 11 cups

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per cup):
30.6 calories; 31% calories from fat; 1.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 12.1mg sodium; 99.4mg potassium; 5.4g carbohydrates; 0.8g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 4.6g net carbs; 0.7g protein; 0.5 points.

Now here are some of the things I've been working on:

"Neatball" Pho (same as above, but with the veggies and accompaniments)

"Neatballs" ready for soup (UPDATE Aug. 2019--(UPDATE Aug. 2019-- neatball recipe post)

Vegan "Wedding Soup", and Italian soup that also utilizes my "Neatballs"

Triple Ginger-Espresso Cake UPDATE: the recipe is in my new book, "World Vegan Feast".

Vegan Gianduia (a homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread similar to Nutella) Muffins UPDATE: the recipe for the Vegan Gianduia is in my new book, "World Vegan Feast".

Authentic Tamale Pie, vegan-style UPDATE: the recipe is in my new book, "World Vegan Feast".

The three photos above are of my easy, vegan version of Vietnamese Bahn Xeo, also known as "Sizzling Crepes", "Sound Crepes", "Saigon Crepes", and "Happy Pancakes". UPDATE: the recipe is in my new book, "World Vegan Feast".   I made my pancakes with split mung beans and brown rice flour for a heartier, healthier version than the usual white rice flour ones.



Susan Voisin said...

Bryanna, your quest for mushroom bouillon really hit home with me. Recently I bought a large, expensive can of Vegetarian Seasoning from an Asian market. It says you can use it as a replacement for MSG, and the outside of the can lists the ingredients as mushroom powder, salt, mushroom extract, carrot extract, celery extract, and amino acid. I thought, Great--mostly mushrooms. I used it in a soup and it was delicious. Later, I noticed that the interior bag (it was a bag inside a can) also had some info. It was labeled "granulated mushroom bouillon" and there was an all-new ingredient list, which started with MSG, followed by salt, sugar, and corn starch. Mushrooms were way down the list. It still looks vegetarian, but I don't appreciate the deception. The English brand name is SuperQ, though most of the writing is in Vietnamese. Just a warning, in case anyone else stumbles upon this bouillon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe for homemade mushroom broth. I am definitely trying this!

julie hasson said...

Wow Bryanna! I can't wait for the next newsleter. The recipes look amazing!


aTxVegn said...

Oh, wow, everything looks so tempting! I LOVE Harvest Chinese brand veggie broth and my Asian market has not restocked and I'm in a near panic. I'll look for the mushroom broth in the meantime.

Again, everything you've been working on looks super!

Anonymous said...

It certainly looks like your creativity has got you going full speed again, Bryanna. The pictures look sensational as always! Waiting is always the hardest part for us newsletter subscribers ;-)

Twisted Cinderella said...

That looks soo yummy. All those yummy pics. Thanks for the recipe. I haven't seen any mushroom broth or bouillon here in our stores yet.

bazu said...

Oh my- everything looks mouth-watering! The very idea of homemade gianduia makes me happy- those cupcakes...

MeloMeals said...

Amazing as always... you are such an amazing talent... I can't wait for the next newsletter..

Speedwell said...

I have some of the Harvest vegetarian mushroom broth on my shelf right now and I really like it. Here in Houston we have some huge Asian markets that stock it. I use it in my rice cooker with onions and black pepper for brown-and Himalayan-red-rice pilaf with barley.

As far as beefy broths are concerned, I use mushroom soy sauce a lot. It's perfect in chili to give it that dark-browned flavor that veggie chilis miss so much. I've even used it as the base for vegetarian French onion soup, with decent results (meat eaters saying "this is good"). It only takes a little bit.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the mushroom broth recipe.
I get so fed up with all the commercial mushroom stock and it's MSG.

Woolworths here in South Africa now stock dried porcini mushrooms so I can make the stock and know it's healthy :)

Unknown said...

For your information, the Knorr brand mushroom bullion cubes (and the Winiary brand incidentally) are available at

Kind regards

Kristina said...

Thanks for the mushroom broth recipe. I have tried Pacific brand and didn't like it at all. Your recipe looks hearty and rich. I will be making it soon.
Your other recipes look beautiful and delicious. Can't wait to get a copy of your new book! Hurry with the seitan book too.
All the best,

Elizabeth said...

I just made vegetable pho soup and the one thing it was missing was a great vegetable broth! Im definitely going to try this out.
Its a good recipe, visit my site if youd like to try it:

Unknown said...

Have any of you tried Watkins Mushroom Soup and Gravy Base for you recipes?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

No, I gaven't, Betty. But I just checked their details ( ) and it contains a few dairy ingredients, so it wouldn't be vegan.

Charlene said...


Do you think agar-agar or another vegan gelatin substitute would work in this homemade porcini bouillon cube recipe?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hmmm-- that's an interesting recipe! You could try using 3/4 tsp agar POWDER instead of the gelatin (you need less agar than animal gelatin) and use light miso instead of the fish sauce to make it vegan. Let me know how it turns out! Another option instead of the porcini cubes might be (per cup of hot water), 1 tsp. vegan broth powder or paste (or 2 tsp. homemade broth powder) plus a pinch or two of porcini powder.

Charlene said...

Cool, once I round up the ingredients, I'll give this recipe a try. I'll let you know how it goes.