How to Freeze Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms grow shelf-like on various types of trees and can reach 8 inches in width. A low-fat and high-protein food, they are often used in cooking as a substitute for seafood because of their oyster-like flavor and texture. As oyster mushrooms tend to go bad within a few days, proper storage is crucial for long-term use. Try blanching freshly cut oyster mushrooms before freezing to kill the enzymes and keep mushrooms from losing consistency

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Things You’ll Need

  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Metal colander
  • Large pot


  • Wash mushrooms thoroughly with a damp cloth and warm water. Remove any sand and grit from small crevices.
  • Heat a pot of water until it reaches a rolling boil.
  • Submerge the mushrooms in boiling water for one to two minutes.
  • Remove the mushrooms from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Place the mushrooms in a colander and allow them to drain and fully dry.
  • Fill an 8 oz. yogurt container with mushrooms and put it in the freezer. This is the perfect amount to drop into a pot of soup or stir-fry.


Storing your Fresh Mushrooms

So your Mushroom Factory has worked long and hard, and has been a great success and you have more mushrooms than you know what to do with. Don’t let these delicious mushrooms go to waste. Here is how.

Store some in the fridge for this week’s delicious mushroom meals and preserve the rest. Mushrooms can easily be dried or frozen for future use. Lucky you, because you have grown your own oyster mushrooms, you know they aren’t filled with grit and grime. If you want to give them a quick wipe before cooking, use a damp paper towel. Be gentle and try to avoid getting them wet. Mushrooms may love humidity when they are growing but not once they are picked.

Storing your Fresh Mushrooms

Your mushrooms will keep up to a week in the fridge.

Mushrooms should never be washed before being stored

Once you’ve picked your mushrooms, wrap them in a damp (not wet) paper towel and put them in a brown paper bag. (This stops them from drying out).

Keep your mushrooms at the bottom of the fridge with the other veggies (It isn’t as cold as the rest of the fridge).

Don’t store your fresh mushrooms in airtight containers – they cause condensation, which will make your mushrooms soggy.

Preserving Mushrooms – Drying

Stored properly, dried mushrooms have a more potent flavour than fresh ones, so you will use less dried mushrooms vs. fresh.

Directions for Drying

1. Pre-heat your oven to 150°.

2. Slice your mushrooms into slices about ½ cm. The thicker the slices, the longer they take to dry out.

3. Arrange your sliced mushrooms on baking trays in a single layer.

4. Bake your mushrooms for 1 hour and remove from oven.

5. Use some paper towel to gently dab any moisture that sweated out from your mushrooms.

6. Turn your mushrooms over and cook for another hour.

7. By now your mushrooms should be completely dry. If not, repeat Steps 4 and 5 until they are dry.

8. Allow them to cool, and then store them in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

Your mushrooms are ready to store when they feel dry when you touch them. They should still be flexible A good idea is to add a wad of paper towel at the bottom of the jar – just to absorb any moisture that might still be lurking around.

To Rehydrate
Put your mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for 30 minute or if you are in a hurry, bring a pot of water to the boil and simmer your mushrooms for 10 minutes Keep this liquid for stocks, soups and sauces by pouring the liquid into an ice tray and freezing. When you need it, just pop the frozen stock into the pot.

Freezing Mushrooms

Freezing your mushrooms will allow them to keep their great flavour, but freezing leaves you with a soggier looking mushroom. Frozen mushrooms are ideal for soups, stews and casseroles.

Using the method below your mushrooms should keep for about a year.

1. Bring 1 l of water to the boil with ½ a teaspoon of salt.

2. Add mushrooms and bring to the boil again.

3. Boil for another 3 minutes.

4. Rinse with cold water.

5. Drain thoroughly.

6. Seal in freezer bags.

7. Freeze.


How to Buy and Store Fresh Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms have grown in availability and popularity worldwide. What does one look for when buying or choosing them?

Oyster mushrooms are named for their distinctive fan-like shape. Some claim that their flavour and texture resembles oysters. The stem, if present, is short and off-centre.

The oyster mushroom or Pleurotus spp is wide-spread in temperate and subtropical forests throughout the world. It has long been cultivated in Asia. It is frequently used in Japanese and Chinese cookery as a delicacy: it is frequently served on its own, sometimes stuffed, or in stir-fry recipes with soy sauce. It is also considered a gourmet mushroom in other cuisines and is now available internationally. Fresh oyster mushrooms can now be found in supermarkets and at farmers’ markets. Cultivated mushrooms are usually safe to eat.

Buying Fresh Oyster Mushrooms

The oyster mushroom is considered the more beautiful of fresh cultivated mushrooms. It comes in different colours. The colour depends on the variety and the growing conditions. Young oyster mushrooms have caps which range from pink, cream, white to grey. When mature, they turn pale brown. Mature oyster mushrooms are considerably larger – the cap can reach 12 cm in diameter. They will be chewier but tend to be sweeter and have more flavour.

Pleurotus ostreatus is the most commonly eaten oyster mushroom species. The colour of the cap of this variety is likely to be tan to brown but can be whitish, greyish or even grey-blue.

Oyster mushrooms are a good source of niacin, riboflavin and iron.

Choose mushrooms that are neither too moist nor too dry. The cap should be as intact as possible. The younger the oyster mushroom, the more tender it will be and the less it will shrivel up when cooked. Oyster mushrooms should be firm, not slimy and plump, with no wrinkles. They should not have any red or green patches and should have pleasant smell. The characteristic smell of oyster mushrooms is a little like that of the spice anise. The aroma often dissipates within a few hours.

Storing Fresh Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are probably the most perishable of mushrooms. They need to be kept between 1 and 4 degrees C, perhaps in the salad drawer of a refrigerator; in a container which is neither tightly sealed nor too open. A plastic bag should not be used because the mushrooms will sweat and quickly spoil. It is important that any white threads be removed. These are a sign of the mushroom’s continued development, since oyster mushrooms can continue to grow and form mycelia after being picked. Under the right conditions, they should last for up to two weeks.

Now find out how to cook fresh oyster mushrooms. Try this oyster mushroom risotto recipe.

Copyright Melody Mundawarara

How to Dry Oyster Mushrooms

How to Dry Oyster Mushrooms 
Without drying, a fresh oyster mushroom lasts only 5 to 7 days before it turns bad, according to the University of Kentucky Extension. However, if you dry your mushrooms correctly, you can store them for 6 months or more before eating. Commercial producers dry oyster mushrooms using complex vacuum or dehydrating equipment, but you don’t need all that to dry mushrooms at home; just a simple oven and wire rack will work fine.


Before drying, oyster mushrooms should be clean and free of any debris. A brush will remove grit and dirt; wet mushrooms are slimy to handle so it’s not a good idea to rinse them under the tap. Many oyster mushrooms grow too large to be dried whole. Instead, each mushroom is carefully cut into strips about one-eighth inch thick. This also makes them easier to store and use when cooking.

Oven Drying

An oven set to a very low temperature will dry out oyster mushrooms effectively. The mushrooms are spread in a single layer, either on a wire rack or on a clean dry baking sheet, allowing the warm air to circulate around the mushrooms. Drying requires about an hour at about 150 F. Once dried, the oyster mushrooms will shrivel up to a much smaller size.

Air Drying

If you live in an arid climate or find yourself with a batch of mushrooms during a hot weather spell, air drying may work for you. However, this method doesn’t apply in overly humid or cool conditions. In the right conditions, the mushrooms will dry up and become shriveled when set out on a wire rack in a single layer and left out of direct sunlight for around three days. An airing cupboard also works well if very dry and warm.


Dried oyster mushrooms are easy to use in cooking. There’s no need to soak and rehydrate the mushrooms; just drop a handful into whatever dish you’re preparing. If you do choose to rehydrate the mushrooms in a few tablespoons of water, the liquid can make a useful soup stock or flavoring for sauces and stews.


How to Reconstitute Dried Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms resemble oysters not only in flavor but also somewhat in appearance. The combination of their smooth and silky texture, their subtle yet rich flavor and the fact that they can be grown commercially makes them a common offering in stores and a popular addition to many dishes. You can also purchase dried oyster mushrooms or dehydrate your own if you will not use them within a few days. Reconstituted dried mushrooms lose their original texture, but their flavor remains relatively intact.

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  1. Place the dried oyster mushrooms in a bowl that is large enough to comfortably hold all of them with plenty of space left over.
  2. Pour enough hot (but not boiling) water into your bowl to cover all of the oyster mushrooms.
  3. Leave the oyster mushrooms alone for approximately 30 minutes. At the end of this time, they will be reconstituted and you may use them in your recipe.