What I find remarkable about Georgian food is its simplicity. Made with a delicate touch of care and spices, the country's traditional dishes are tasty and approachable. Soko kecze translates to "stuffed mushrooms in a clay pot" - though you don't really need a claypot to roast them at home. This recipe makes mushrooms that are unbelievably flavorful!
Update Disclosure: This post has been updated for one or more of the following reasons: easier reading, updated photos, clearer instructions, and just plain ol' improvements to the recipe (as noted).
What is Soko Kecze?
This recipe is easy to explain - it's a bunch of mushrooms hollowed out then stuffed with cheese. They are roasted upside in a ketsi - the Georgian word for a clay pot. The butter and cheese inside the mushrooms mix with the juices as the mushrooms cook in the oven. It's quite a heavenly umami-filled dish!
Ingredients For Soko Kecze
You can effortlessly reproduce many Georgian dishes in your kitchen. But there is the exception of sourcing some hard-to-find seasoning and spices like adjika and blue fenugreek mentioned in this recipe. These spices are optional to this recipe; you can season the mushrooms to your preference. Luckily, major markets like Trader Joe's have made adjika accessible outside of Georgia.
- Button Mushrooms: Large ones are the perfect shape for filling.
- Unsalted Butter: This recipe calls for unsalted butter so you can control the salt levels in the mushrooms. Use cold butter, so it's easier to slice into cubes and place inside the mushrooms.
- Sulguni or Mozzarella Cheese: Mild, melting cheese is the perfect choice for stuffing these mushrooms. Sulguni, a Georgian-style cheese, is not easy to find, but it's very similar to low-moisture mozzarella cheese.
- Vegetable Oil: If you plan to season the mushrooms, then use a little oil on the mushrooms before adding them to the pan. It will help make the spices adhere to the mushrooms and build some crisp on the surface.
- Salt & Pepper: Use these staple spices to your liking.
- Adjika (optional): This special Georgian spice is prepared by mixing fresh pepper, garlic, and salt among other spices. Adjika also comes in various forms, such as paste or powder. It has its own unique taste that is spicy and garlicky.
- Blue Fenugreek (optional): The blue fenugreek plant only grows in the mountain of Switzerland and the Caucasus, so this spice is a rare find.
- Button Mushrooms: Other mushrooms in the same species work because of their similar shape. Cremini or smaller-sized portabello mushrooms will hold the butter and cheese very well.
- Adjika: If you don't have adjika, you can use a combination of paprika and chili powder. It will not taste exactly like adjika, but will create a level of spice and depth.
- Blue Fenugreek: If you cannot use blue fenugreek, regular fenugreek will work in this recipe.
- Scrub the Mushrooms: Gently scrub the mushrooms as you clean them to get rid of their slippery top layer. Doing this will help the seasonings adhere to the mushrooms.
- Keep Butter Cold: The cubes of butter will be easier to add to the hollows of the mushrooms.
How to Make Soko Kecze
The steps are relatively easy but take some time. Before you do anything, preheat your oven so it's ready for the mushrooms.
- Wash the mushrooms by scrubbing them gently. Most of the dirt should come off. Then carefully remove the stems. Try to trim a bit of the hollow hole without breaking the mushroom in half.
- Slice up cubes of butter that are big enough to fit inside the holes.
- Add the seasoning and spices in a bowl along with some vegetable oil. Mix everything together and toss the mushrooms to coat them with the mixture.
- Place the mushrooms hole-side-up in a baking dish and add the butter cubes inside each one.
- Bake the stuffed mushrooms in the oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes until all the butter has melted.
- Meanwhile, slice the cheese into small cubes that fit into the mushroom.
- Remove the mushrooms from the oven and carefully place the cheese on top of each one. Then bake again for another fifteen minutes until the cheese completely melts.
- To brown the cheese, set the oven to broil for five minutes.
How to Serve
Serve the stuffed mushrooms immediately as a side dish to any meal. Soko kecze are great when hot, while the cheese is easy to pull. Get creative with whatever seasoning you have in your pantry. This will quickly become a go-to accompaniment to many dishes, such as meat khinkali!
Georgian Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (Soko Kecze)
- 9 medium or large sized button mushrooms also cremini or smaller portabello
- cold butter, cubed
- sulguni or mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon adjika optional; use more if you want it more spicy
- 1 teaspoon blue fenugreek powder optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
- Gently scrub and wash the mushrooms, then remove the stems creating a hollow in the middle.
- Add the spices and oil to a bowl then mix with a fork or small whisk.
- Add the cleaned and hollowed out mushrooms then gently mix with a spatula to coat them with the seasoning.
- Place the mushrooms in a pan hole-side-up, add pats or cubes of the butter into the hollows. Bake for 15 mins.
- Remove from the oven and add the cheese cubes. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Set the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes. Bake until some of the cheese has browned.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Simply rate the recipe by clicking on the ⭐️s on the recipe card. Have something to say? Please leave me a comment down below telling me what you think of this recipe.
Bonus: Let me and other readers know what you did to make this recipe your own - 💫 let's inspire each other!
Also, follow me on Instagram [@seesfoodwilltravel] and send me a DM with a picture of what you made. I would love to share and celebrate YOUR creation with our budding community 💞