Cooking fresh mushrooms is great for adding umami flavor to your dish! However, they do not last longer than a week when stored in the refrigerator. If you need more time, freeze them, pick them up, or dehydrate them with a dehydrator. Choose the method that works best for the type of dish you plan to cook.
Method 1 of 5: Freezing Steamed Mushrooms
Step 1. Wash the mushrooms well in cold water and tap them to dry
Place them under running water and wash a few at a time, removing the dirt with your fingers. You can also put them in a sieve and water them all at once. Tap with a paper towel to dry.
Champignon mushrooms are more resistant, but be careful with the lion's mane, enoki and oyster (or black shimeji) as they need to be washed while attached to the larger base, pulled and cleaned again
Step 2. Cut off the ends of the stems and chop the mushroom
When the mushrooms are more than 2 cm in diameter, use a sharp knife to divide them into four parts. Feel free to cut them in half or into small pieces, but try to keep them all the same size.
Don't use a knife with teeth because it's harder to split them like that
Step 3. Place the mushrooms in a solution of lemon juice for five minutes
Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with 500 ml of water and mix well. Put the mushrooms in the solution and let them soak for five minutes. Then pat it with a paper towel to dry. If you don't mind the mushrooms darkening, skip this Step.
By treating the mushrooms with the solution, you retain the original color and prevent browning during cooking
Step 4. Fill a pan that comes with a sieve with 5 cm of water
Add the water and bring to a boil. Choose a pan that has a lid for faster cooking.
The sieve holes must not be too big, as the mushroom pieces must not fall into the water
Step 5. Pour the mushrooms into the strainer, cover the pan and steam for three to five minutes
When you have time, skewer them with a fork to test whether they are ready. It should go through the entire vegetable, but with a little resistance. Cooking time varies by size.
When cut into pieces, it takes approximately three minutes. On the other hand, the process takes up to five minutes with the whole mushrooms
Step 6. Transfer the mushrooms to a container
Take a large plastic pot with a lid or a glass that can be placed in the freezer. Leave approximately 1 cm of free space.
Another possibility is to use a zippered plastic bag
Step 7. Allow the mushrooms to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour
Keep them on the sink counter while you wash the dishes or clean the kitchen. You know mushrooms are ready to be frozen when you put your hand in and no longer feel the heat.
Allowing it to cool beforehand is important so as not to heat up the other items in the freezer
Step 8. Store the pot with the mushrooms in the freezer for up to one year
Put the pot on the bottom so it doesn't suffer from the temperature variation when opening the door. It is kept for up to a year.
Method 2 of 5: Frying and Freezing Mushrooms
Step 1. Clean and cut mushrooms
Run the mushrooms under running water and use your fingers to remove the dirt. Cut them in half, into four pieces, or leave them whole if you like. It is difficult to fry the whole mushrooms evenly.
If you want, cut the stalks and keep only the top, but it is also possible to sauté, freeze and eat the stalks
Step 2. Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat with a little oil
Put 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a skillet and light the heat between medium and high. Let it heat up until the butter melts or the oil comes to a boil.
Use a cast iron skillet to heat evenly
Step 3. Fry the mushrooms for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally
Place the clean, chopped mushrooms in the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon every one minute to heat evenly. Whole mushrooms take five minutes to fry, sliced mushrooms usually take just three minutes.
- You may have to add more butter or oil if you're making a large amount at once.
- Add whatever spices you like, such as basil, oregano, rosemary or thyme.
- Mushrooms with small heads such as enoki and lion's mane fry in just two minutes.
- Black-shimeji and Portobello need four or five minutes.
Step 4. Remove the mushrooms from the fire when they are golden
After deep frying, transfer them to a bowl or plate to let them cool. Mushrooms are ready when they are soft on the inside and dry on the outside.
Step 5. Place the mushrooms in a vacuum container
Get a thick glass or plastic pot to store the mushrooms. They need to be big enough to fit all the mushrooms and have at least 1 cm of space on top.
- Mushrooms increase in size when frozen, so leave the space indicated.
- If you don't have an appropriately sized container, use several small ones or a plastic bag with a zipper.
Step 6. Store mushrooms in the freezer for up to nine months
Leave the container at the bottom of the freezer so that it is not exposed to changes in temperature caused by opening the door.
If you want to freeze the mushrooms for nine months or more, take them out of the freezer. If they're soft or sticky, it's because they've gone bad
Method 3 of 5: Bleaching and Freezing
Step 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of salt
The pan must be large enough to accommodate all the mushrooms you intend to bleach. Fit a lid to speed up the process.
It is not mandatory to use salt, but it helps preserve the color and enhances the flavor
Step 2. Wash the mushrooms under running water
Take some in your hand or put them all in a sieve to make it easier. Use your fingers, a brush or a paper towel to remove any dirt that may have accumulated in the corners.
- When washing the Portobello mushrooms, remove the stems and dark dots with a spoon.
- It might be worth using a sieve to wash a lion's mane or enoki mushroom because hats are so delicate.
Step 3. Prepare a large bowl of ice and water
Put 500 ml to 1 l of water and 250 ml to 500 ml of ice. The amount of water and ice depends on the amount of mushrooms you are cooking.
- If you are cooking 250 g of mushrooms, you only need 500 ml of water and 250 ml of ice.
- You need to put your vegetables in ice water right after cooking, so it's a good idea to prepare the ice bath in advance.
Step 4. Cut the mushrooms into four parts or slices
Use a sharp knife to make the cuts. To cut in quarters, pass the knife in the middle in one direction and then in the other, forming an “x”. If you want to take slices, cut vertically.
Try to make all the pieces the same size so that it cooks evenly
Step 5. Soak them in boiling water for about two minutes
When the water starts to bubble, throw the mushrooms into the pan and wait two minutes to get them out.
Step 6. Pour the water and mushrooms into a strainer above the sink
To separate the mushrooms from the water, place a strainer on top of the sink and dump the contents of the pan on top of it. Be careful not to burn your skin!
If you don't have a good metal sieve, use a slotted spoon to take the mushrooms out of the pan and throw them into the ice bath
Step 7. Soak the mushrooms in the ice bath and wait three to five minutes to take them out
After draining all the water, put the contents of the sieve in the ice bath. Soak the mushrooms for three to five minutes or until completely cooled.
- There needs to be enough water to cover all the mushrooms. If necessary, add more water and some ice cubes.
- You can also use tongs or a spoon to put the mushrooms in the ice bath.
Step 8. Transfer the cold mushrooms to a large pot that can be placed in the freezer
Wait until the mushrooms are cold before storing them in the freezer. Leave about 1 cm of space at the top because they expand when frozen.
You can use a plastic bag to store the mushrooms. Don't forget to remove the air from the bag before closing it
Step 9. Store the container in the bottom of the freezer so that the mushrooms do not suffer the effects of the temperature variation caused by opening the door
They are kept for up to a year.
- To thaw mushrooms, keep them in the refrigerator for six to seven hours.
- Cook frozen mushrooms the same way you would other frozen vegetables.
Method 4 of 5: Pickling Mushrooms
Step 1. Wash the mushrooms in cold water and cut them if you like
Hold some mushrooms under running water and brush away the dirt by hand. Leave them whole, cut into four parts or in half.
- As the mushroom is small, you can leave it whole, but a big Portobello needs to be cut.
- The morel mushroom does not need to be cut.
Step 2. Put fresh herbs in a jar
Use a large, thick glass jar to withstand abrupt changes in temperature. The lid needs to keep the mushrooms vacuum-packed. If you have a container of canned vegetables, reuse it after washing. The best herbs are:
Step 3. Place water and vinegar in a non-reactive pan
Put 200 ml of water and 100 ml of white vinegar in the pan. Liquid ingredients are the basis of the preserve. It is necessary to use a non-reactive pan, that is, made of a material such as steel, ceramic, glass or enameled iron.
Do not use aluminum, cast iron or copper pans as they leave a metal taste when they come in contact with vinegar
Step 4. Add salt, pepper and other seasonings to the brine
Add 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper and other spices. For example, 1 ½ teaspoon allspice or 1 ½ teaspoon mustard seed.
Sprinkle with other ingredients that you think would improve the flavor of the mushrooms. Sliced garlic and chives are good options
Step 5. Place the mushrooms in the brine and bring to a boil
Put the whole or sliced mushrooms in the pan along with the other ingredients and turn the heat on high. Just bring it to a boil and turn it off, which should take about four minutes.
- Whole morel mushrooms can take up to five minutes to fully cook.
- Lion's mane and enoki mushrooms are faster and are ready in two or three minutes, so watch them carefully as overcooking can make them too soft.
Step 6. Lower the heat and let the mushrooms cook for 15 minutes
After boiling the brine, turn the heat to medium (or medium-low) and let the mixture heat up for another 15 minutes. The fire has to be low enough not to bubble too much.
- If you have a kitchen thermometer, keep the temperature between 80 °C and 85 °C.
- If you left the heat low, place a lid on top of the pan.
Step 7. Take the mixture off the stove and place it in the jar
Use both hands to transport the pot and pour out the entire contents. You may prefer to use a slotted spoon to avoid spilling the liquid.
Use a spoon to pick the herbs from the bottom of the pot and place them in the container
Step 8. Allow the brine to cool before placing in the refrigerator
Wait between 30 minutes and an hour, then cap the bottle and place it in the refrigerator. The preserve will be ready in three days!
Canned mushrooms remain good for consumption for up to a month
Method 5 of 5: Dehydrating Mushrooms
Step 1. Preheat the dehydrator to 45°C
If you want to preserve the umami flavor of the mushrooms, it is best to dehydrate them at a low temperature. The process takes three to seven hours. If you want to speed up a little, raise the temperature to 60 °C.
Excess heat causes loss of flavor
Step 2. Wash and cut the mushrooms into pieces of 0.5 to 1 cm
Wash them under running water and remove the dirt with your fingers. Tap them with a paper towel to dry them.
- Cut them into equal sizes because thin slices take less time to dehydrate.
- If you are drying Portobello mushrooms, remove the black spots with a spoon and wash both sides of the hat thoroughly.
- You may have to wash it again if you notice that there was dirt stuck under your hat. Remember to dry them again!
Step 3. Place the mushroom slices in the dehydrator trays
As it is difficult to cut some types of mushrooms into equal parts, try to put pieces of similar size together in the same trays. So, if the thinner slices dry first, just remove your tray and leave the others in the appliance.
Step 4. Check after three hours and then every hour
When you have time, open the appliance door and check the mushrooms. They should be crispy and break when you bend them with your fingers. If they're not dry yet, look again in an hour.
- If some mushrooms become dehydrated after three or four hours, remove them and leave the rest in the appliance until dry too.
- Small pieces of enoki mushroom or lion's mane only take two or three hours, so check more often.
Step 5. Remove the dried mushrooms and let them cool
When all the pieces are crispy, pull out the trays and place them on the sink counter until they are cold.
If you notice that some mushrooms are still wet or fold without breaking, place them in a separate tray and continue the process
Step 6. Store dehydrated mushrooms in a vacuum container
It's a good idea to put them in a glass jar with a lid, but you can also use a plastic zipper bag. Leave them in a cool, dark place to keep them for up to a year.
- To rehydrate them, pour hot water over the mushrooms and let them soak for up to half an hour.
- Use dehydrated mushrooms to add flavor to soups and sauces.
- After a year, dried mushrooms tend to lose their flavor.
- Thaw the mushrooms in a microwave using the “defrost” function, turning to 50% power and selecting a minute or two as the warm-up time.
- Write the date you preserved it on a ribbon and stick it on the lid of the jar.
- Write the date of dehydration on the package or container so that you know the mushrooms are valid.
- Always check that mushrooms are edible before cooking, preserving and consuming them. If you're not sure, throw them away.
- Do not leave a stove with a fire on unattended.