The simplest way to cook the best mushrooms


Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes and there is a great deal you can do with them in cooking, for simple dishes using just mushrooms to using them in a range of sauces and meals. Mushrooms are a nutritious and delicious addition to salad, pasta, pizza and so many other savoury dishes. While most mushrooms can be eaten raw, it is also necessary to know how to cook mushrooms.

Mushrooms may seem simple but they are more complicated to cook with than they appear. Mushrooms have a totally different set of needs than other produce. You can’t wash them like you do to cucumber or tomatoes and you certainly can’t cook them the same way either, but if you know what makes them tick, you can easily achieve perfectly cooked mushrooms in no time at all.

It is also important to make sure mushrooms are stored well before you even start cooking, says Horowitz; they need to be able to breath, or otherwise they run the risk of becoming soggy or prematurely mouldy. Mushrooms are filled with nutrients including Vitamin B and minerals like selenium, copper and potassium, making them nutritious addition to your diet.

How to Select and store Mushrooms

When selecting mushrooms, look for firm caps that are unblemished, make sure the mushrooms appear plump and still have the stem attached. If they feel at all slimy, pass them up. You can store mushrooms in the refrigerator for up to a week.

How to Clean Mushrooms

Because mushrooms have high water content and are very absorptive, rinsing them with water can cause them to become waterlogged and result in a slimy, flavourless final product. You need to avoid washing them, you should never soak them and they won’t get brown during cooking. Instead of washing just wipe each mushroom with a damp cloth or with kitchen paper towel and only do this as need to remove dirt and debris or you use a special mushroom brush.

Common ways to prep Mushrooms

To determine how you should cut your mushrooms, you need to first consider what will work best in the recipe you are making. If you are making a soup, you will want to dice them into small even bits so you get the same amount of mushroom in every bite. If you are whipping up a salad, sliced or quartered mushrooms both will work fine for you. And if you’re going to grill them, consider leaving them whole, this method works especially well with big juicy Portobello, you can even grind them up to make vegetarian meatballs, they have uncanny meat like texture. At the of the day it all comes down to your preference.

Cook your mushrooms as they are

Mushrooms have a distinctive flavour of their own that can brought out with simple additions such as butter or olive oil, mushrooms contain much water  so they will shrink considerably during cooking and also be aware that they soak up fat readily so always use quality butter or oil for cooking.

Whether you are cooking mushrooms in the oven, on the grill or on a stove-top, cook them in a fat over high heat to cook off excess moisture and guarantee a roper sear. Because mushrooms are 92% water, so it is important to sear them on a high heat and evaporate all that water. Because of how absorbent mushrooms can be, they love fat and will absorb it quickly, and since you’re cooking them on a higher heat, they might get burn if there is not enough oil or butter. Not all mushrooms are the same, they all differs, so just keep an eye on them while they cook. If your pan looks too dry, you can add more fat.


Avoid crowding them when cooking

If you put too many mushrooms in a pan at once, all the moisture they produce will cause them to steam instead of brown, whether you are roasting or sauteing, leave enough room on the pan for the water to full evaporate. Don’t overcrowd your mushrooms give them a little room to do their thing.

  • Roast mushrooms to bring out their natural sweetness, coat them in oil and roast in the oven at 400 degrees until well browned.
  • Grill mushrooms in the summertime, simply place the mushrooms directly on the grill pan and cook until browned. Experiment with marinades for extra flavour.
  • Saute them in a pan, this is one of the most common methods, start with plenty of hot oil or butter and saute them until browned.

Preparing Mushrooms

After cleaning your mushrooms, you will need to prepare them for cooking, if you are using Portobello mushrooms, you may want to remove the gills. While the Portobello’s gills are edible, they do leak a dark liquid when being cooked. To remove them, use a spoon to gently scrape the gills out, wipe clean with a paper towel. If you are using Portobello or shiitake mushrooms, you may want to remove the stems before cooking, you only have to slice it off the base of the mushroom cap and discard.

Note: mushrooms can be cooked with eggs. Eggs and mushrooms go well together in very simple and easy dishes, you can spice up scrambled eggs by adding mushrooms and garlic. Mushrooms make an excellent addition to any omelette, add mushrooms to fritters and quiches for an earthy flavour.

Cook them low and slow

As you now know mushrooms have a ton of water in them. When you cook them in a pan the water will seep out. If you keep the heat low the mushrooms will just simmer in the liquid. Medium high or high heat will get rid of all that liquid, and give the mushrooms a nice brown colour. Make sure all that water has evaporated before taking your mushrooms off the heat.

Mushrooms with common dishes

When added to existing recipes, mushrooms can add depth of flavour and complexity. Make pasta sauces with mushrooms. Mushrooms make an excellent addition to pasta sauces. Put mushrooms on pizza as a topping. Add mushrooms to meat dishes for extra flavour, they go well with beef or chicken, and they are common toppings for steak and roast.



Conventional knowledge about mushrooms dictates that you keep your mushroom dry, it is better you brush them instead of rinsing or soaking them. For the cooking, cook them quickly in a hot pan without crowding, the reason is because mushrooms act like tiny sponges and soak up water if you get them wet, since the contain much water if you crowd them in the sauce pan or you don’t cook them quickly they will steam instead of browning.

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