Roasted mushrooms glazed in soy and honey. Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

In the woods, mushrooms are everywhere – even if you don’t see them. They hide under leaves, peek out from the soil, blend into the bark on fallen logs. In that way, they’re the stereograms of the forest: You have to stare at the scene for a long while, refocusing and unfocusing your eyes until a hidden image takes shape, and once you see it, you wonder how it was able to escape your notice at all. At that point, it all seems so obvious.

Mushrooms are all over one of my favorite new cookbooks, too, but they don’t always jump out at you. In Michal Korkosz’s “Polish’d,” he tosses them in bigos (a sauerkraut stew), stuffs them into beet green rolls, tosses them with kopytka (the Polish version of gnocchi), and purées them with walnuts into a paté. They’re essential, but not always the star. And then you focus in a little harder, and the spotlight starts to shine.

As a fellow vegetarian, I have cooked mushrooms every which way you can imagine: under a “brick” in a skillet, in quesadillas and fried rice, skewered into kebabs, “pulled” a la barbecued pork, stewed with lentils for a take on Bolognese, in risotto, wrapped in puff pastry, and on and on. There’s truly no end to their versatility.

This recipe from Korkosz is something else entirely: a mushroom treatment that seems almost too simple to be a recipe but that results in something you’ll want to do over and over again. He boldly calls them Roasted Mushrooms to Die For, and they’re worth a bit of hyperbole because, as he writes, after making them, “You won’t believe how good mushrooms can taste.”

What’s the secret? You marinate oyster mushrooms in a mixture of soy, oil, honey, smoked paprika, bay leaves and garlic for at least an hour, then roast them for almost a half-hour, during which time their marinade bubbles up and glazes them and their edges get a little crisp. All the ingredients offer a contribution, but I give most of the credit to the combination of soy and honey for a sweet-salty depth. Their flavor is so deep, in fact, that they remind me of one of my other favorite fungi treatments, from Chris Bianco, in which you roast portobello mushroom caps in beer.

Here, the results are not exactly a complete dish on their own, but instead offer the makings of so many others. Put them on salads, in sandwiches and tacos, on baked potatoes, sweet and white. I haven’t been able to stop eating them as part of grain bowls or, let’s be honest, snacking on them right out of the fridge.


Soy and honey-roasted mushrooms. Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Roasted Mushrooms Glazed in Soy and Honey

This super simple treatment for mushrooms marinates them in soy, honey and more flavorful ingredients to pack them with deep umami and give them a slick glaze. Serve as part of a grain bowl, on salads, or in sandwiches.

4 servings

Active time: 5 mins; Total time: 30 mins, plus 1 hour for marinating

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Freezing is not recommended.

Make ahead: The mushrooms need to be marinated for at least 1 hour and up to overnight before cooking.



1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons sunflower or other neutral vegetable oil

2 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)

3 bay leaves


2 garlic cloves, finely grated or pressed

1 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed


In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, honey, smoked paprika, bay leaves and garlic until combined.

Tear or cut the mushrooms in half lengthwise if they’re very large, or otherwise into large bite-size pieces. Add them to the marinade, stir to coat and cover the bowl with a wide plate. Marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.


Pour the mushrooms and marinade onto the sheet pan. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid bubbles and reduces to a glaze and the mushrooms are deeply brown and almost charred on the edges. Pick out and discard the bay leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Substitutions: No oyster mushrooms? Use fresh shiitake caps (discard the stems or save for Scrappy Vegetable Stock), cremini or any other favorite fungi, which may change the cooking time. Gluten-free? Use tamari instead of soy sauce. Instead of honey, try agave nectar.

Nutrition | Per serving (heaping 1/3 cup): 117 calories, 15g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 6g fat, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 1g saturated fat, 368mg sodium, 9g sugar

Adapted from “Polish’d” by Michal Korkosz (The Experiment, 2023).

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