Cooking mushrooms can get kind of tricky. You can eat them raw, so they can be technically be "done" any time, right? Wrong! When we think about cooking mushrooms on the stovetop, we're all after the same deep-mahogany perfection we've come to expect from a perfectly cooked steak.
So whether you're making a quick meal of mushrooms on toast or you're sautéing enough for a pizza party, here's how to cook tender, tasty, and totally succulent mushrooms every time.
For the Best Mushrooms, Give Them a Good Sear
Cooking mushrooms concentrates their flavor and brings out notes of sweet earthiness from the Maillard reaction taking place. The best way to do this is to sear the mushrooms first in a dry pan. The high heat browns the mushrooms while instantly driving off excess moisture.
You also want to hear a gentle sizzling the whole time you're cooking mushrooms. This means that the pan is hot enough to quickly evaporate the moisture and caramelize the mushrooms. If you don't hear sizzling, adjust the heat until you do.
Key Steps for Stovetop Mushrooms
- Clean and quarter your mushrooms. Avoid rinsing mushrooms for stovetop cooking — not because it water-logs them, as some folks believe, but because any excess surface moisture inhibits browning. Instead sweep them off with a damp towel and quarter the mushrooms before cooking.
- Cook in a large, wide skillet or sauté pan. Cook mushrooms in a pan with a lot of surface area. You want to be able to spread the mushrooms out in a single layer to maximize their contact with the hot pan and allow moisture to evaporate quickly.
- Finish with butter and sherry. Adding a bit of butter and some sherry (or white wine or your favorite vinegar) gives the mushrooms a lush sauce that makes them truly worthy of a seat next to your main dish.
Using and Serving Stovetop Mushrooms
Once cooked, you can add these mushrooms to other dishes (think: stews or braises) or partner them with dinner as their own stunning side. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
How To Cook Mushrooms on the Stovetop
Serves 4 to 6
What You Need
unsalted butter or olive oil
dry sherry or vinegar
finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Clean and trim the mushrooms. Clean the mushrooms by rubbing the dirt off with a damp paper towel. Quarter the mushrooms through the stem.
Sear the mushrooms. Heat a large regular or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. The mushrooms should be turning golden-brown and releasing some of the liquid.
Cook the mushrooms until browned and reduced by half. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms start to turn dark reddish-brown with golden spots, 5 to 8 minutes more.
Add the butter, sherry, and parsley. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter or oil, sherry or vinegar, and chopped parsley. Stir to coat and serve immediately.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.