Moldavian Mushroom Stew

Moldavian Mushroom Stew

I stumbled upon this recipe for Moldavian mushroom stew while leafing through Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman’s “Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook.” I immediately thought I could put the mushrooms I had sitting in the refrigerator to a good use. The dish was easy to put together and very delicious with varied, interesting flavors. Traditionally,  tokana is eaten with mamaliga, a cornmeal dish, resembling mashed potatoes in texture, but I opted for mashed potatoes this time as I didn’t have any cornmeal at home.

Moldavian Mushroom Stew (Tokana)
Adapted from “Please to the Table: the Russian Cookbook,” by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman


1   1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms (such as boletes, portobello, cremini, white, or a combination)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1   1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
3 large fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


Trim the mushrooms, separating the stems from caps, and wipe thoroughly with a damp paper towel to remove any  traces of dirt. Cut the mushrooms into 1/2-inch pieces. If the mushrooms are young and firm, you can use the stems, too.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the onions are lightly colored, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, paprika, thyme, and fennel seeds and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium and sprinkle in the flour. Add the wine and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, stir, and simmer for about 10 minutes longer. Correct the seasoning, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.


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  1. My mother in law makes this dish as well along with the Mamaliga – her family is descendant from Kafkas. Delicious and suberly easy! Health to your hands.

  2. A wonderful way of preparing mushrooms! Yummy!



  3. nice dish 🙂

  4. Very delicious!!!


  5. That’s a gorgeous-looking dish! I love mushrooms, especially if I’ve picked them myself.
    Did you forage for mushrooms back in Azerbaijan?

  6. This sounds delicious Farida.

  7. Deliciosa como todas tus recetas!! y todas tus fotos son preciosas, me gusta mucho tu blog…un beso

  8. This sounds great! And with mashed potatoes — mmm. I like the mushroom photo — it’s like they’re dancing!!

  9. I agree the mushroom photo is great! and the dish too.

  10. Mmm… I love mushrooms! This looks mouth-watering & delicious!! I think I will make this for dinner tonight! Perhaps with creamy garlic mashed potatoes & baked tilapia? Thank you for the inspiration! xoxo

  11. this looks soo good!

  12. Beautiful mushrooms there

  13. Oh wow, this sounds so different and perfectly fantastic! I can just imagine it all over mashed potatoes. A great winter dish…I can’t wait to try making it!

  14. What a fabulous dish! Mushrooms are so good!

  15. that looks so cool..delicious

  16. Thank you for all your comments, friends.

    PILLE: What do you mean by foraging for mushrooms. Please clarify:)

  17. each time I visit your site, I feel like visiting Azerbaijan. Pomegranate’s image is what making feel me that way, of course our dishes too. \thank \you \farid once agin for making a pomegranate a symbole of your site. You probably love these fruits as \i do but which one more? from Goy-Chay, Sabirabad, Baku,… Each has own soecific taste! Here in Canada they don’t taste the same. I have no idea where they import them.


  18. This dish looks very colorful and delicious; when I think of mushrooms I imagine creamy and heavy but that is not the case here; love the paprika in it, reminds me of a dish someone from Hungary made for us and i really liked it.

  19. I am sure the mushroom dish is a delight. I was intrigued by the mamaliga. In the Caribbean we make a dish called coucou and in many ways is a variant of mamaliga. It is always so rewarding to see how the use of one main ingredient – in this case cornmeal – can be taken to varying degrees of textures and represent something different for varying cuisines. I also learn something new from your blog Farida. You are the best.

  20. Feride, it has great flavors, sounds so appealing. Never used wine when cooking mushroom. I’m not sure if I can find this type of mushrooms but I will trythe recipe with the ones I can find at the market. And I think olive oil is always better. Thanks for the recipe.

  21. This looks great! I adore mushrooms and know that I would love this dish!

  22. I love this! One thing that would be very helpful is if you could include how many servings your recipes give. Thanks!!!

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