Mushrooms add earthy flavor and texture to all kinds of savory dishes. In this video, you’ll see how to clean mushrooms for cooking, plus learn about different types of mushrooms, including dried mushrooms. You’ll see how to store mushrooms correctly so they don’t get mushy. You’ll learn great ways to wash different kinds of mushrooms properly; some with just a wipe down (like shiitake, portobello, crimini, and button mushrooms), others with a mushroom cleaning brush (like chanterelles). If you’re rinsing with water, we’ll show you how to do it without water logging them. You’ll also see how to refresh dried mushrooms and how to get the most out of your rehydrating liquid.
Whether you’re talking about a porcini, shiitake, chanterelle – or the even the common button mushroom found in the supermarket – properly cleaning and storing your mushrooms is the key to freshness.
Keep mushrooms fresh by storing them correctly. Mushrooms like air, so don’t close them up in a plastic bag, which is a quick way to make them sticky, squishy and unappetising! Instead, place them in a paper bag or on a tray in the fridge covered with a damp piece of kitchen roll.
Here’s another freshness tip: Don’t wash mushrooms until you’re ready to use them.
When you’re ready to add mushrooms to your favourite recipe, first remove the soil that clings to the cap and stem – do this in one of several ways:
Use a damp piece of kitchen paper to gently wipe off the cap and stem – an especially good method for smooth-capped mushrooms such as portobellos or buttons.
Use a wet or dry toothbrush (kitchen shops also sell mushroom brushes) to whisk away soil – a good cleaning method for mushrooms with creased tops such as chanterelles.
Rinse and shake
You also can rinse mushrooms under running water then give them a good shake to remove water from the gills (the area beneath the cap).
If you use dried mushrooms, you first need to rehydrate them before cooking. To do this, soak them in warm water, wine or stock. Twenty minutes or so should do it.
When the mushrooms are soft, lift them out of the liquid with a slotted spoon.
Don’t toss the liquid! It’s full of flavour – but also sediment. Filter the liquid through a coffee filter or a clean, damp piece of kitchen paper. Add it to your recipe – to flavour to soups, stews or sauces. Or freeze it to use later.