• Prep Time -
  • Cook Time -
  • Serving For 4-6 people
  • Difficulty Normal

Recipe Description

For many people who have made a roast turkey for Christmas, they would recognise this dish as stuffing or dressing for the bird. However, many people have avoided stuffing them into the turkey because of the risk of bacteria inside the raw bird. This problem arises usually from improper handling of the stuffing such as overstuffing the bird, cooking it at the wrong temperature or not cooking it for the proper duration. The solution in the last few decades was to cook the stuffing separately on the stovetop and baking it in a separate baking pan, but serving them alongside the roast. Stuffing has evolved into a dish of its own, and because it doesn’t enter the bird, even vegetarians can eat it.

I first encountered this dish when I and my wife went to visit our friends in Cardiff who took us for a meal at a nearby cafe. It had mushroom loaf in the display case and we wanted to try it. Our friend said he could make it for us, so that was what we did when we went back to his flat for dinner. So here’s a big shout-out to Paul and Liz Bendor-Samuel for this recipe.

Paul had browned some diced bacon to render the fat for sweating the onions and celery. But you may omit the bacon and just use extra virgin olive oil. He had also added a teaspoon of Marmite to give it more umami flavour and I must admit, although I’m not a big fan of this yeast extract, it worked quite well in the dish. It’s really up to you what you want to add or subtract in this dish.

You may also use any mushrooms that you prefer and whatever is available. I like to mix a few different mushrooms so that there would be a variety in texture when biting into the dish. I was surprised that I was not able to find white button or swiss brown mushrooms when I went to the grocers on the day that I was preparing this dish. But I think shiitake and bunapi were good substitutes.

I would’ve preferred to use crusty bread for this dish but if that is unavailable, you may just use sandwich slices. You will need to lightly toast the diced bread in the oven so that they will be able to soak up all the flavour that you’ve built up from sautéing the herbs and spices, and not get soggy when you add in the liquid.

The surprise element that Paul added into the pan was a good artisanal local beer. You may substitute with any beer or wine, but if you want to keep it alcohol-free, just add chicken stock or the turkey pan juices if you are roasting turkey. If you want to serve this dish as a vegetarian option for your guests, you can also use vegetable stock.

You may think there is a lot of butter that scatter over the top, but all of it bakes into a tasty crispy crust. And once you remove the dish from the oven, you will notice oil bubbling on the bottom. You will need to cool the dish about 15 minutes before serving so that the melted butter gets absorbed and redistributed into the loaf, or the oil will flow out and pool on your plate.

This dish has a wonderful blend of flavours that you can eat on its own and makes a good complement to the roast meats on your Christmas table.

Recipe Ingredient

  • Ingredients
  • 60g walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • ½ bulb garlic, minced
  • 5g fresh thyme
  • 180g shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 150g bunapi mushrooms, diced
  • 300g white bread, diced
  • 75g butter, cubed
  • 1 can beer, or 1 cup broth
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toast diced bread in a 150°C oven for 15 minutes until crispy but not dry.
  2. Fry walnuts in olive oil until lightly golden and crispy. Remove walnuts from oil.
  3. In the remaining oil in the pan, sauté diced onions and celery until they start to sweat, then add garlic and thyme and sauté until fragrant.
  4. Add mushrooms and sauté until wilted and starting to brown.
  5. Add toasted bread and toss in the pan to absorb all the flavours.
  6. Pour in the liquid and toss until combined. Stuffing should be moist but not soggy and toss a bit longer in the pan if it's too wet.
  7. Finally, stir in the fried walnuts and fill the stuffing into a baking dish.
  8. Scatter a few cubes of butter over the top of the stuffing and bake in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes until golden and crispy.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 15 minutes for the fat to be redistributed before serving.

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