Mushrooms: How to clean, store, cook and serve?

Always wanted to try cooking mushrooms but feel overwhelmed? This post is for you.

Mushrooms are one of the quickest and easiest thing to make. They are filled with nutrients such as vitamin D, potassium, fiber, selenium etc. I love to incorporate mushrooms into my breakfast. They compliment almost all kinds of eggs.

Kinds of mushrooms available at the stores in Germany

Although there are several kinds of mushrooms available at the standard grocery stores in Germany, I am introducing you to the ones I use for my recipes.

Button Mushrooms

These are the size of a golf ball. They come in brown and white variety. They are tender and do not take long to be cooked. Suitable for sautéing and quick recipes. Not suitable to be added to soups and curries as they don’t hold shape andC texture becomes too soggy.

Cremini Mushrooms

These come from the same family as button mushrooms but are slightly more mature, which also means that they are bigger in size. They are a little firmer than button mushrooms and take somewhat longer to be cooked. Still not suitable to be used in liquid based dishes.

Portobello Mushrooms

Again the same family, but even more mature. The portobello mushrooms are almost as big as burger buns, which makes it an excellent low calorie substitute for buns. They are rich in flavor, and their texture is more meaty and less spongy than button mushrooms. They are quite popular in Italian cuisine and are often used to make risotto, pasta etc.

Shiitake Mushrooms

These have a deep earthy flavor and a firmer texture. They are quite popularly used in Asian style stir fried and soups. I particularly like using the mini version of shiitake because it doesn’t need any chopping and could be added to dishes easily.

Oyster Mushrooms

The name comes from their shape that resembles an oyster. The texture of these mushrooms resemble chicken, especially when they are torn by hands. Oyster mushrooms are commonly added to pasta, pizza, rice and risotto.

Beech Mushrooms

I like to add these tiny ones with long stems to my noodle soups (like ramen). The texture and shape works well with noodle based soups. They are very tender so I only add them towards the end.

How to select mushrooms from the store?

If you are a beginner, I would suggest you to start with button mushrooms (known as Champignons in Germany). They are easy to clean and cook. Buy organic ones as we avoid washing them with water. Look for ones that look free from any dirt and do not have black particles stick onto them (soil that commercial mushrooms grow into).

How to clean your mushrooms?

For years, I kept washing my mushrooms with water only to end up with a soggy texture. It’s because mushrooms are like sponges. They absorb a lot of liquid if you wash them with water. The best way to clean mushrooms is to use a thick kitchen towel and rub the surface of mushrooms. If you aren’t satisfied with that, you could make your kitchen towel wet with water and then rub clean the mushrooms. But avoid soaking the mushrooms with water. I usually buy organic mushrooms and select clean looking ones from the store.

How to store mushrooms?

Mushrooms are very delicate and should not be stored for too long. Transport them carefully so they do not get bruised. As soon and you get them home, store in the vegetable section of the fridge. Cook within 2 days. You can store them longer after cooking, so it’s a good idea to cook them right away after buying. You can then store them in cooked form for up to 4 days.

How to cook mushrooms?

Depending of the kind of mushroom, there are several ways of cooking them. Here I am sharing 2 very easy recipes for button mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms and Balsamic glazed mushrooms. Please refer to the recipes below for the details.

Sautéed mushrooms on top right, Balsamic glazed mushrooms on bottom left.

Here are some more mushroom recipe recommendations for you:

How to serve?

For me, mushrooms are a frequent occurrence for breakfast. The recipes I am sharing today are great breakfast options. I love combining them with eggs in different forms. But it isn’t only limited to breakfast. You can also serve these along rice for your main meals.

Watch this short video with the important tips and visual instructions

Sautéed mushrooms

With onion, tomatoes and garlic, these sautéed mushrooms are hard to resist.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine continental
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams (2 cups) button mushrooms (Champignons)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly crushed black pepper
  • some chopped coriander (for garnish) optional

Instructions
 

  • Clean and slice the mushrooms. Dice the onion and tomato. Finely chop the garlic.
  • Put a big skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes (until onion becomes translucent).
  • Add the mushrooms and tomatoes, along with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high (so the mushrooms do not get soggy). Cook until all the liquid has gone (about 5 minutes). If the mushrooms start sticking to the bottom, decrease the heat to medium low.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with freshly chopped coriander. You can add this mixture to beaten eggs for making mushroom omelette.

Notes

  • To get the best results, use a big and wide pan and do not overcrowd it.
  • You can store sautéed mushrooms into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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Balsamic glazed mushrooms

A little sweet, a little tangy, with a perfectly caramelised flavor.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine continental
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams button mushrooms (Champignons)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar (aceto balsamico)*could be found at well stocked grocery stores in Germany

Instructions
 

  • Clean and slice the mushrooms. Slice the red onion and finely chop the garlic.
  • Put a big skillet on medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until the onion just start to get brown.
  • Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly. The mushrooms will get darker and tender.
  • After 5 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar and sauté for another minute.
  • Take off heat and transfer to a serving bowl/storage container. The balsamic glazed mushrooms pair really well with sunny side up or scrambled eggs.

Notes

  • To get the best results, use a big and wide pan and do not overcrowd it.
  • You can store cooked mushrooms into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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