January 20, 2019
Mushroom Cooking Tips and Recipe Ideas

Mushroom Cooking Tips and Recipe Ideas

by Berkeley Wellness  

Mushrooms add savory flavor to many dishes. Here are tips on storing, preparing, and cooking with mushrooms.

How to store mushrooms

It is important to conserve just the right amount of moisture when storing mushrooms. If left completely uncovered, they will dry out. If enclosed in moisture-proof wrapping, they will become soggy and begin to decay. A good compromise is to place mushrooms purchased in bulk in a loosely closed paper bag or in a shallow glass dish covered with a kitchen towel or a lightly moistened paper towel.

Leave prepackaged mushrooms in their unopened package. Don’t wash or trim mushrooms before storing them.

Keep mushrooms on the refrigerator shelf—not in the refrigerator crisper, which tends to be humid—for only a few days. Unopened, prepackaged mushrooms will keep for up to a week. If the mushrooms begin to darken (and their caps open) with age, they can still be used for cooking and flavoring foods.

Dried mushrooms will keep almost indefinitely if wrapped in plastic or placed in a tightly closed jar and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. They can also be stored in a cool, dark place for six months or even longer.

How to prepare mushrooms for cooking

Don’t prep mushrooms until immediately before use: Trim off any woody parts of the stem end, then clean either by wiping gently with a damp cloth, paper towel, or soft brush, or by rinsing quickly in water. Immediately after washing, gently dry with a paper or lightweight cloth towel.

Dried mushrooms, whole or in pieces, are often added to soups and stews for their flavor. You can also pulverize dried mushrooms in a food processor or blender, then use the powder to flavor and thicken sauces as well as soups and stews. Before processing the dried mushrooms, place them in a sieve with a fairly coarse mesh and shake to strain out any dirt or grit.

To duplicate the taste and meatiness of fresh wild mushrooms in recipes, but at a fraction of the cost, use fresh button or cremini mushrooms for texture and a small amount of dried wild mushrooms for flavor.

Try a mushroom/meat blend

Because of their almost meaty flavor and texture, chopped mushrooms can replace at least half of the ground meat in burgers, taco filling, chili, meatloaf, and other recipes. Blending in mushrooms not only cuts calories and fat, it also reduces the need for salt (thanks to the umami flavor) and reduces the environmental impact of the meal. Studies have found that consumers give high marks to such mushroom/meat blends.

9 mushroom recipe ideas

1. Fill cooked portobello mushrooms with diced tomatoes and a topping of shredded mozzarella for portobello “pizzas.”

2. Try an assortment of sautéed mushrooms in your favorite spinach salad.

3. Grill large mushrooms and toss in a vinaigrette.

4.Stuff large white mushrooms with cheese,breadcrumbs, and parsley. Bake until heated through.

5. Substitute raw enoki mushrooms for sprouts in salads and sandwiches.

6. Add sautéed mushrooms to tomato sauces for pasta, meat, or poultry.

7. Add finely chopped raw mushrooms to turkey burger and meatloaf mixtures to provide extra moisture.

8. Toss roasted mushrooms into potato salad.

9. Use dried mushrooms in vegetarian chilis to give them a meaty flavor.

Reconstituting dried mushrooms

Dried mushrooms have an intensely concentrated flavor and therefore are considered more of a seasoning than a vegetable. To reconstitute them and bring out their flavor (and to remove any grit), they should be soaked before use. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Pour very hot water over them and let stand for 30 minutes. Lift the mushrooms out, leaving the liquid in the bowl, then strain the flavorful soaking liquid through a coffee filter or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Rinse the mushrooms, chop them, and add the mushrooms—and the soaking liquid, if possible—to the dish you’re preparing. If not, save the liquid for a soup or stew. These steps are not needed for dried mushroom powder, which can be added directly to soups and stews.

Also see these recipes
: Shiitake and Cheese Quesadillas and Roast Pork Salad with Mushrooms.