Why use dried mushrooms instead of fresh? Here are 5 reasons. 1. Dried mushrooms have a more concentrated flavor. 2. They will not spoil. 3. You will use less. 4. they will last indefinitely if stored correctly. and 5 they are more readily available.
There is nothing more frustrating than when you are following a recipe that calls for mushrooms and discover that there are none to be found in your fridge. Or the mushrooms you bought last week but swear you bought just a couple of days ago have turned brown and slimy.
Dried Mushrooms Have More Concentrated Flavor
When you take out the moisture in mushrooms, the complex proteins are broken down into simpler amino acids thus resulting in a stronger umami taste. Although you can just throw those dried mushrooms into your soups, stews, or broths for a better cooking experience rehydrate the mushrooms first and do not throw away the liquid. It will make an even richer more flavorful broth.
It is better to rehydrate your mushrooms overnight to extract all that wonderful mushroom flavor. Cover them with cool water.
But if you are in a hurry, pour boiling water over them and they are ready in about 15 minutes.
Dried Mushrooms Will Not Spoil
This is pretty much self-explanatory. You just need to remember to keep your mushrooms away from direct light, in a tightly sealed jar, and away from humidity. That’s it. Do this and your jar or container of dried mushrooms will last indefinitely.
You Will Use Less Dried Mushrooms Compared To Fresh
If your recipe calls for a pound of fresh mushrooms use 3 ounces of dried. It doesn’t sound like much does it? But it is. Once the dried mushrooms are rehydrated they will plump up and expand thereby giving you the pound of mushrooms you need.
Dried Mushrooms Will Last Indefinitely
If the dried mushrooms are stored correctly they will last indefinitely. A tightly sealed mason jar often does the trick. Keep the jar in a dark cool place. You can also keep your dried mushrooms in the freezer. Make sure to double bag before you do. You don’t want any liquid to permeate your bag. Personally, I choose to store my dried mushrooms in a tightly sealed mason jar in my pantry.
Dried Mushrooms Are More Readily Available
Not only do you have to not worry about spoilage but they are also much quicker since they are ready to use. No need to wash or slice. Just rehydrate in water for use. Just grab your container from wherever you choose to store them and you will have mushrooms ready for your sauces, broths, or soups just about any time you need them. No running to the store. That in itself is a game-changer for me. The closest local grocery store is 20 -25 minutes away and they do not carry dried mushrooms. What a bummer!
Read more about Mushrooms and dried mushrooms here.
Where Can You Get Dried Mushrooms?
Online is where you will find a variety of dried mushrooms. With Shitake mushrooms being the most popular. You may be able to find them in the Asian food aisle of your local Walmart but the variety may be limited. I like baby Bella mushrooms and use them quite often in my spaghetti sauce.
You Can Dry Or Dehydrate Mushrooms Yourself!
As I stated earlier I prefer baby portobello mushrooms. I don’t know why? Maybe because they are a meatier mushroom and I do like to bite into my mushrooms. Whatever the case is I make my own dried mushrooms. On occasion, you can find baby Bellas on sale and when they are I buy them babies ups.
Do You Wash Fresh Mushrooms Before Dehydrating Them?
No. Mushrooms are so absorbant they tend to soak up liquid like a sponge. This will make dehydrating them harder. The best way to clean a fresh mushroom is with a lightly wet paper towel and rub them gently.
A point to mention here is that any time you buy cultivated mushrooms such as portobello or white button, what looks like dirt in the packaging is actually sanitized, composted peat moss, which the mushrooms are grown in and is safe to eat.
How To Dry Or Dehydrate Fresh Mushrooms
- Clean the mushrooms by rubbing gently with a wet paper towel
- Slice mushrooms evenly. Well as evenly as you can. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick. The thicker the slices, the longer it will take them to dry.
- Place evenly on either a baking sheet or the crisp tray of your dehydrator or air fryer. I used my air fryer oven. Make sure the edges or not overlapping each other.
- Place in the air fryer oven at 115 degrees for 6 to 8 hours. Mine was done at 7 hours. Remove from the oven and place into a tightly sealing jar or you can also seal them into vacuum-sealed bags
By using dried mushrooms instead of fresh results in a more concentrated flavor, they will not spoil, you will use less in the long run, they will last indefinitely if stored correctly and if you dry your own you will always have some on hand. It just makes economic sense to use dried mushrooms instead of fresh.
Remember to clean with a wet paper towel. And Never ever throw out your rehydrating liquid. It makes a sauce, soup, or stew, and a broth even richer and more flavorful by adding it right along with your rehydrated mushrooms.
Store in a cool dry place.
Have you ever used dried mushrooms? If not I urge you to give them a try! You know that old saying ” you never know until you try” applies here.
If you do use dried mushrooms please leave me a comment below I would love to hear your thoughts.
And As Always
Have A Wonderful Day!