Cooking Techniques

Easy to cook, delicious to eat.

Mushrooms are a versatile food that can be prepared in a number of ways. But no matter how you cook them, mushrooms make a delicious, nutritious addition to your diet. Below are some tips on cooking mushrooms using a variety of methods.

Sautéing

Sautéing is probably one of the most common ways to prepare mushrooms. Sautéing uses high heat and just a little oil or fat. To sauté mushrooms, put about a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil in a skillet and get it really hot. Add fresh mushrooms and cook, turning the mushrooms frequently. If your mushrooms are wet, dry them with paper towels before cooking to keep them from becoming soggy.

Don’t use salt during the cooking process. Salt will draw the moisture out and leave your mushrooms dry. Instead, add any desired salt right before plating your mushrooms.

Try adding garlic and minced onions for a great flavor combination. A few red pepper flakes can heat the dish up for a spicy taste treat. Or add a few tablespoons of wine or lemon juice for a different twist. Experiment with other spices to find the flavor combinations you like best!

Dry Sautéing

Dry sautéing is a method of sautéing ingredients without adding any oil. It’s perfect for people who are on special diets, or who simply want to lower their fat intake.

Just heat your skillet and add mushrooms, turning them frequently for uniform browning. It’s the healthiest, most natural way to cook mushrooms.

Deglazing the Pan

Once your sauté is complete, you may want to consider deglazing the pan with a little soy sauce, red wine, reserved rehydration liquid, or even water.  Choose your deglazing liquid as appropriate to your dish – no use letting all that great flavor go to waste.

Baking (Roasting)

Baking or roasting mushrooms is the best method for making stuffed mushrooms. But you can bake mushrooms without stuffing them, too. It will bring out the unique flavor of the mushrooms better than sautéing.

Just sprinkle mushrooms with oil, season them with salt or other spices, and arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer, stem side down. (When baking larger mushrooms, we recommend placing them gill side down.) Bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes, turning once if desired.

Frying/Deep Frying

This method is similar to sautéing, but more oil is used. It involves quickly cooking the mushrooms while they are submerged completely in very hot oil.

Most cooks coat their mushrooms in batter or breadcrumbs before deep-frying. This seals in the mushrooms’ flavor and stews them in their own juices. The mushrooms will be crispy on the outside, soft and juicy inside. While it is not the healthiest way to eat mushrooms, eating them deep-fried is okay on occasion. Serve them with cocktail sauce or other dips.

Dried vs. Fresh Mushrooms

Dried mushrooms can be used in almost any recipe that calls for fresh mushrooms. Keep in mind that the flavor of dried mushrooms is a bit stronger than fresh mushrooms, so you’ll want to use them sparingly until you get a feel for how to use them. They are also fragile, so handle them carefully.

Some cooks prefer dried mushrooms because they can be kept for longer periods of time than fresh mushrooms, and they are easily reconstituted with water when you’re ready to cook. Just soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Keep the water to make a nice mushroom stock for soups and stew. You can even freeze the water for later use.

Dried mushrooms can also be ground into seasoning powders, brewing powder for tea, or medicinal powders. When using mushrooms for medicinal purposes, there is no loss of potency or medicinal value during the drying process.