Guide to Eating and Cooking Dried Mushrooms

dehydrated mushrooms on plate
Dried mushrooms add a delicious earthy flavor to many dishes. To cook with dried mushrooms, rehydrate them in boiling water and let them sit for 30 minutes before straining. The softened mushrooms are then ready to eat or use in your favorite recipes.

Are Dried Mushrooms Good to Eat?

Dried mushrooms are versatile, flavorful, and delicious. Dehydrated mushrooms retain all the flavor of fresh mushrooms but are concentrated down into a smaller package. You can rehydrate and add them to soups, stews, stir-fries, and pasta sauces.

What Do Dried Mushrooms Taste Like?

Dried mushrooms are known to have a deep umami flavor. The mushroom flavor is preserved and enhanced by the drying process. Some varieties of dried mushrooms, such as morels, have an earthy flavor that enhances rich, creamy dishes like risotto.

dried mushrooms on yellow plate
Dried mushrooms

How to Cook Dried Mushrooms

  1. Rehydrate the mushrooms. To do this, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water (1 cup of hot water for every ounce of mushroom).
  2. Let the mushrooms soften. The mushrooms should soak in the hot water for 30 minutes and be stirred periodically.
  3. Strain the rehydrated mushrooms. Use a paper towel, coffee filter, or a fine mesh strainer to strain the mushrooms and remove them from the liquid.
  4. Reserve the liquid. The soaking liquid that strains through the mushrooms will have a deep flavor and can be used for cooking.
  5. Rinse and chop. Rinse your mushrooms with cold water, and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Cook. Your rehydrated mushrooms can be cooked like fresh wild mushrooms – sautee them or add them to a slow cooker meal for incredible texture.

Do Dried Mushrooms Need to be Soaked Before Cooking?

Dried mushrooms should be soaked before cooking. To do this, simply place them in a bowl with boiling water or broth and allow them to rehydrate for 30 minutes.

Bowl with dried mushroom pieces and broth
Rehydrating mushrooms

Why Use Dried Mushrooms Instead of Fresh?

Dried mushrooms have a more potent flavor than fresh mushrooms. The dehydration process condenses the flavor of mushrooms, increasing their potency.

Dried mushrooms also have a longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms. Drying is a way of preserving them for future use.

What are the Benefits of Dried Mushrooms?

  • Cost. Being able to buy mushrooms in bulk saves money.
  • Flavor. Dried mushrooms have a stronger mushroom flavor than fresh ones.
  • Healthy. Mushrooms are high in potassium and vitamin D.
  • Shelf Life. Dried mushrooms have a shelf life of ten months to one year.
  • Transportable. Dried mushrooms are a lightweight backpacking food.

Can You Eat Dried Mushrooms Raw?

Always cook dried mushrooms before consuming them. Mushrooms can contain traces of carcinogenic compounds when raw. Cooking them is safer and improves their flavor and texture.

Top down view of dried mushroom slices
Raw dried mushrooms

What Kind of Mushrooms are Used to Make Dried Mushrooms?

  • Chanterelle. Chanterelle mushrooms are highly prized by chefs and added to gourmet meals.
  • Maitake. Maitake mushrooms are earthy and have a unique, rose-like appearance.
  • Morel. Morel mushrooms are harvestable in Spring and boast a distinctive honeycomb shape.
  • Oyster. Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor and are one of the most widely consumed mushroom varieties.
  • Porcini. Dried porcini mushrooms are renowned for their flavor and are widely used in French and Italian cuisine.
  • Shiitake. Dried shiitake mushrooms are richly flavored and a staple of Chinese and Japanese dishes.

Storage of Dried Mushrooms

Dried mushrooms should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool, dark, and dry place. Glass canning jars such as Mason jars and Mylar bags are popular storage containers. You can also refrigerate or freeze your dried mushrooms if you vacuum-seal them, which will increase their shelf life.

Jack Fairey

Jack is a writer and keen foodie based in London, England. When he's not writing, he can be found in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes for him and his partner to enjoy!

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