Mushrooms are such an underrated vegetable for daily meals because of their interesting texture and flavor.
They can also be cooked in various cooking styles. Although they are vegetables, they don’t have the same preparation as many leafy vegetables.
Then, do you cook them as a whole? How to prepare them, so it is beneficial to your dish? All these questions can be overwhelming for people who first learn to cook with mushrooms.
So, how to cut mushrooms and prepare them for your recipes? I’ll cover all the ways you can treat your mushrooms right below. Let’s find out more in my post!
How To Prepare Mushrooms
Mushrooms can come from many sources, like in the wild or greenhouses. On the farm, people can prepare organic and pasteurized environments for mushrooms to grow healthily.
However, wild mushrooms are capable of growing from rotting organic things. Therefore, it is likely to find chicken or cow manure left on your mushrooms which can be unappetizing.
This is why mushrooms need to be inspected before cooking to remove any dirty spots left.
However, according to the Mushroom Bureau, mushrooms are prone to absorb water. The more water they take, the less flavor they obtain. So, how to clean fresh mushrooms? Here are some easy ways to clean mushroom:
How To Clean Crimini Mushrooms
Crimini mushrooms are a popular type in the market. They are small with a brown bulb that you can use for baking, sauteing, and roasting.
When cooking Crimini mushrooms, you should check any dirt and debris before slicing them. If it is a pre-sliced pack, there is a high chance that people have washed them before selling.
When there is dirt and mud on the mushrooms, instead of water, use a pastry brush to scrape them off. You can also use a knife to cut off any stubborn spots.
How To Clean Button Mushrooms
Button mushrooms (also known as white mushrooms and champignon mushrooms) are another popular type that you can find in many local markets.
They have a small size with white color, which is easy for you to spot any dirt and debris.
Similar to Crimini, you can scrape off any stubborn dirt with a pastry brush or knife as they can become soggy when they are exposed to water.
It is also easy to wipe grimy spots with a dry paper towel. Once you have wiped all the dusty spots, you can put them in a clean bowl for your recipes.
It is also common to find pieces of mushroom skin falling off while wiping them. You can trim any wrinkly skin along the curve to make it more appealing.
How To Clean Wild Mushrooms
As I have mentioned above, wild and larger mushrooms are likely to be exposed to rotting organic material. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when cleaning them.
For dirty mushrooms like porcini and shiitake mushrooms, you can even use water to wash all the dirt away as they have probably gone through several raining days before harvested.
You can turn to warm water and rinse each mushroom briefly with water. Combine brushing all the dirt with a damp paper towel and cutting off any stubborn dirt for cleaning shiitake mushrooms thoroughly.
After that, you can dry them under a sunny window or a fan for sauteing.
How To Cut Mushrooms
Before cutting mushrooms, you need to have some kitchen utensils for your mushroom preparation.
It is important to find yourself a sharp knife for this task. A dull or sawtooth blade might not be able to cut through the soft, chewy skin of raw mushrooms.
Therefore, you can choose any cutting tool with a well-honed edge for chopping and slicing. For this task, I tend to use a paring or standard kitchen knife.
Use a flat cutting board for chopping mushrooms and a clean bowl to transfer all the slices inside. With the cleaned mushrooms, you can lay them down on the board for trimming the stems.
As some mushrooms have a small size, you need to be careful with your fingers when cutting them. A good tip for cutting them is grabbing the cap and curling your fingers slightly inside to avoid the knife blade.
How To Trim Mushrooms
Before a fresh mushroom can be cooked, you need to trim it first. Trimming means cutting off the stems, which can be inedible or tough to eat.
Popular mushroom types like crimini, shiitake, and portobello mushrooms tend to have woody stems.
Stems can be tough and firm to the touch, which is not preferable in sauteing or roasting dishes as you would want the mushrooms to be soft and flavorful.
Therefore, it is best to break them off for making stocks. So, how can you trim mushrooms?
- Place your mushroom cap facing up on the cutting board. This would help you to locate where your blade will be later.
- Make a claw impression with your hand pressing on the mushroom to avoid knife cuts. The safe space between your fingers and the blade should be ¼ inch.
- From then, you can wedge the knife as close to the cap as you can and press the blade straight down to cut the stem out.
When you have trimmed the mushrooms well, it is easier to lay the mushroom flat base and cut them however you like.
How To Chop Mushrooms
The easiest way to process mushrooms is by chopping them into small pieces. It is such a worry-free and simple method to use for sauteing or cooking in soups and stews.
The result will be a dynamic bowl of different meaty shapes of mushrooms, making it chewy and tasty.
To chop mushrooms, you should use either a sharp knife or a food processor for this task. So, how to slice mushrooms?
- Place the mushroom cap down on the flat cutting board. Then, from the top, make a smooth motion to cut the mushroom in half.
- Take one half and place the flat sides on the board surface; continue to cut into smaller slices with a vertical gesture.
- Lastly, you can place all the sliced mushrooms at 90 degrees and cut through them again until they meet your desired size.
Note: When your mushroom slice becomes too small to hold, you can simply press your hand on the top of the blade headfirst and, with the other hand pressing the handle down to create a cut through the abundance of mushroom pieces.
Food Processor Method
- Cut the mushroom in half, similar to step 1 in the knife method.
- Then, you need to put them all inside the food processor.
- Once they are all inside, you can manually pulse the food processor until they are chopped into small pieces.
How To Quarter Mushrooms
Quartering mushrooms is a common way to prepare mushrooms for sauteing and roasting. It is especially popular for cremini or button mushrooms because of its small size.
When you quarter mushrooms, the mushroom slices will have more exposure to the heat and spices that result in soft, tender, and flavorful slices.
So, how to do it?
With this technique, you should prepare a good knife to cut through these meaty mushrooms.
- Place the mushroom cap flat side down on the cutting board.
- Tuck your fingers in slightly and hold on top of the mushroom. Then, wedge the knife with a vertical cut to halve the mushroom.
- Once you have had two halves, take one side and place its cap up.
- Use your fingers to hold almost half of the mushroom cap. Then, you should make another vertical cut in the middle of the mushroom.
How To Dice Mushrooms
Dicing mushrooms is a fun way to process mushrooms when you want to stuff them in egg rolls or samosas.
With this technique, your mushroom flavor will be lesser than the above methods, but their texture will give your dish a fun chewing experience.
So, how to do it?
- Make two cuts on the mushroom to make three slices. Use your finger to hold these slices together.
- Then, turn the slices to 90 degrees and put them on each other to make a stack.
- After that, you should make another two vertical cuts and repeat from step 2 until they become small dice.
Mushrooms For Cooking
Mushrooms are tasty vegetables that you can use in many dishes. As you have learned how to process them, let’s see what you can do to make the most out of these delicious mushrooms.
Can You Eat Mushroom Stems?
It is normal for people to trim and throw away the stems of mushrooms so that they are easier to be chopped. But do you eat mushroom stems?
Some mushroom stems are edible and should not be wasted. For instance, crimini, chanterelle, porcini, or portobello are mushrooms with edible stems that you can keep for usage later.
What To Do With Mushroom Stems?
Mushroom stems are not as soft as the cap, which requires a longer time to cook them. That’s why mushroom stems are a favorite ingredient for lukewarm soups.
As they have an intense smell of the mushroom, you can also use them to spice up your homemade stocks as well.
How To Cook Mushroom
Nowadays, there are many ways of cooking mushrooms. With the chewy and delicious taste, they are used widely in noodles and soups.
You can also saute a batch of mushrooms with oil and butter to get the best flavor.
Another way for people who don’t like the intense flavor of mushrooms is by stuffing them with other ingredients like breadcrumbs, sauteed veggies, and cheese.
Mushrooms are tasty and interesting ingredients that you can use in many recipes. As they have different shapes and sizes, processing mushrooms may be confusing to some people.
With this post, you can learn how to cut mushrooms in various ways with different purposes to benefit your dish.