Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to reconstitute and store dried mushrooms




Dried mushrooms have an intense flavor and are very useful to have around since you can use them in all kinds of dishes. By reconstituting them you will not only have some delicious mushrooms on your hands but a flavorful liquid that you can incorporate into your soups, stews or sauces.

The most commonly used dried mushrooms are porcini, chanterelles, shiitake, black trumpets and morels.

In order to reconstitute them, place the amount of dried mushrooms you want to use in a bowl large enough to accommodate all of them.
Pour warm water over the mushrooms and let them stand for 25-30 minutes, until they are softened.

The amount of water depends on how much mushrooms you will use— you will need 3/4 cup (180 ml) water for 15 g of dried mushrooms, 1 ½ cup (260 ml) water for 30 g and so on. The mushrooms need to be fully covered by the liquid.

Alternatively, you can soak the mushrooms in stock, wine, sherry or brandy in order to give them more flavor.

Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, take them out of the bowl, squeezing them with your hands in order to release as much liquid as possible back into the bowl. Now you can use them in any kind of dish you want, just like you would with fresh mushrooms.

Don't throw away the liquid because it is full of flavor. Pass it through a muslin cloth or a coffee filter in order to get rid of all the grit and dirt, and use it in your dish as a substitute for any other liquid such as water or stock, or reserve it for later use.

Keep in mind that when dried mushrooms are rehydrated they increase in size tenfold so don't go overboard with the amount you use.

Store dried mushrooms in airtight containers with tight-fitting lids (thus ensuring that no bugs/insects will infest them) and keep them in a dark and dry place or even in the refrigerator or freezer.
As long as you keep them dry, they can last indefinitely. They must not get wet or damp, because they will rot or mildew.

Keeping them in individual portions and individual packages (like small airtight plastic bags) extends their life. If you keep them in a large container which you open and close regularly, you let moisture inside thus ruining them.

If you ever find even one bug/insect in your dried mushrooms, throw them all away.


You will find this helpful in the following recipes:

Mushroom Soup with Leeks and Thyme

Spaghettini with Mushrooms, Olive Oil and Garlic




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6 comments:

  1. Great information! I have not used dried mushrooms in a while and this post has reminded me of how good they taste in a sauce!

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  2. thanks for this useful information :)

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  3. Oh, this is such good news! I am the only mushroom lover in my family, so I rarely buy them. I never thought of getting dried! If I do then I can have them in MY food whenever I want! I like the idea of soaking them in wine. Thanks for the great tip :)

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  4. I so love this series with practical tips for the kitchen. So many of the basics get forgotten. Sadly, the last mushrooms I ate made me really ill so I'll be skipping the dried ones but I remember how good they tasted in sauces and soups.

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  5. I adore using dried mushrooms for that extra strong flavour and you are certainly right about not tossing the soaking liquid - I normally freeze mine for later use.

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  6. This is great! I always see dried mushrooms and never buy them... but now I will!

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