Shiitake Mushroom and Miso Gravy
1 to 2 tablespoons of vegan margarine
1 to 2 tablespoons of flour
about 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 medium to large onion, sliced
2 teaspoons of miso
1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestshire sauce
a dash of pepper sauce, or
1/2 teaspoon of hot English mustard
handful of chopped fresh herbs
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in about 2 cups of hot water, until they are soft and plump. Squeeze them out, and slice thinly. Keep the mushroom soaking liquid.
In a fry pan, melt the vegan margarine. Add the sliced onion and mushrooms, and sauté until the onions are really translucent and softened. If there is not enough margarine left in the pan, add a little more.
Slowly add the flour, and stir quickly to "cook" it. Once it has coated the onions and mushrooms, slowly begin to add the mushroom soaking liquid. Let the mix thicken after every addition of liquid.
When you have put all of the liquid in, and it's thickened slightly, add the miso and stir through thoroughly. Then add the vegan Worcestshire sauce and the pepper sauce or mustard. Stir through thoroughly.
The gravy will be a light brown in color. If you want it darker, you can add a dash of soy sauce for color.
Just before serving, stir through the chopped fresh herbs. Parsley is good, as is basil - I haven't yet tried coriander (cilantro)!
If you are boiling potatoes at the same time, you can substitute some of the potato water for the mushroom soaking liquid. This will assist in the thickening of the gravy.
I tend to add chopped vegan sausages to this gravy, and smother mashed potatoes in the sausage/gravy mix. Eat on cold and rainy nights ;-)