What Are Cremini Mushrooms? Skills
In addition to white button, cremini mushrooms are likely the most popular mushrooms you buy when at the store — and there’s a reason for that. These popular mushrooms, which have a size similar to white button mushrooms but resemble portobellos mushrooms, are super versatile in the kitchen.Though cremini mushroom are easy to find, you may be wondering what exactly cremini mushrooms are and how much do they differ from other common varieties. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Dried Shiitake Mushrooms Should Be in Your PantrySkills
Flavorful shiitake mushrooms are such a foundation of Asian cooking. They have an intense flavor that always reminds me of my Chinese grandmother’s cooking, where she used shiitake mushrooms in soups, braises, and steamed dishes. My grandmother always had a big glass jar of dried shiitake mushrooms in her pantry, and I’ve picked up this habit too! Dried shiitake mushrooms can easily add deep savory flavor, umami, to dishes.
What Are Portobello Mushrooms & Are Creminis Different?Skills
When I was growing up, the mushroom selection at the grocery store didn’t go far beyond the basic white button variety. That certainly isn’t the case these days. If you’re lucky, your grocery store might carry everything from enoki to shiitake, but it’s portobello and cremini mushrooms that you’ll find making a regular appearance in the produce section.
How to Freeze Mushrooms So They Stay Delicious for MonthsSkills
Don't let those mushrooms go to waste — do your future self a favor and freeze them.
Seasonal Spotlight: Chanterelle MushroomsSkills
I love it when these meaty, golden yellow mushrooms show up in the Fall at Far West Fungi or the Alemany market. They sprout from September to February, and are profuse since insects and other animals don’t like them. More for us!Chanterelle mushrooms grow wild in woodsy areas. They’re difficult to cultivate, but they sprout easily from forest floors in the US, Asia, and Europe. They have a firm flavor and texture and stand up to cooking and heavy sauces very well.
What Exactly Is a Truffle? Plus, How to Cook with ThemSkills
Here's why these little fungi are so darn expensive.
We Tested 6 Methods for Storing Mushrooms and Found a Clear WinnerSkills
The best method for storing mushrooms not only kept them free of slime and mold, it actually made the mushrooms taste better too.
Never Touch Slimy Mushrooms Again! Here’s the Best Way to Store Them.Skills
You're going to treat them a little like school lunch, okay?
Mushrooms: The Best Ways to Pick Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them
31 Days of Vegetables
Love mushrooms? Start here.
Jul 9, 2020
The Culinary School Trick for Crispiest-Ever MushroomsSkills
It has nothing to do with the pan, heat, or oil.
Mar 8, 2020
What Can I Do to Make the Texture of Mushrooms More Palatable?Skills
Q: I like the taste of mushrooms, but the texture kills me. When cooked, they take on almost a … rubbery consistency to me. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a specific type of mushroom or type of preparation so that I can tolerate the texture better? Sent by Whitney Editor: Fascinating! I’m happy to hear you do enjoy mushrooms from a flavor standpoint, because they’re a great, savory umami-booster in the kitchen. I have a few questions for you, though.
Feb 2, 2016
What Should I Make with Enoki Mushrooms Besides Soup?Skills
Q: I picked up some super yummy-looking enoki mushrooms at the farmers market, but all the recipes I’ve found are for noodle soup. Does anybody have any interesting recipes/ideas for enoki that aren’t soup based? Thanks! Sent by Chrissy Editor: Enoki mushrooms always seem to reach out to me at the Asian market, and I often pick up a pack without knowing what I plan to do with them. Turns out these tender mushrooms are pretty versatile.
Jan 19, 2016
Why Are Morel Mushrooms So Expensive?Skills
Morel mushrooms are expensive. Really expensive. While prices vary from store to store or region to region, the fresh ones can cost multiple times more than the other cultivated mushrooms they sit next to on the shelves. Why are they so expensive, and are they really worth buying? I spoke to Ken Litchfield, who teaches fungi cultivation at the Mycological Society of San Francisco, and he said that the high prices of morel mushrooms basically come down to 3 reasons: 1. Hard to cultivate.
Jun 12, 2014
What Can I Make with Rubbery, Flavorless Canned Mushrooms?Skills
Q: I have a stack of canned white mushrooms in my pantry — rubbery, flavourless, yuck. Rather than chopping them up fine and hiding them in every bolognese sauce I make or being that jerk who constantly donates canned food that no one likes, do you or your readers have any good ideas for how to use them? Sent by Finn Editor: Readers, do you have any ideas for using canned mushrooms?
Oct 3, 2013
Help! How Can I Get Mushroom Flavor Without Mushrooms?Skills
Q: Both my husband and I dislike mushrooms, mainly a texture issue. We also both enjoy lots of Asian food. However, many Asian recipes call for mushrooms. Is there anything I can substitute to get the same earthy flavor or to bulk up a simple soup?Sent by KathleenEditor: If it’s mostly just texture, you might try using some powdered dried mushrooms to add flavor to your dishes: • Ingredient Spotlight: Porcini Powder Readers, what would you recommend as a replacement for mushrooms?
Jan 22, 2013
In Praise of the Button MushroomSkills
I’m stepping up today to defend the ubiquitous but (to my mind at least) tasty button mushroom, which has fallen a bit out of favor these days due to the popularity of more exotic mushroom varieties like chanterelles, porcini or even the almost-as-ubiquitous shiitake. Why do I love the button mushroom? Read on for my defense as well as tips for selecting, storing, washing and preparing this workhorse of the home kitchen!
Sep 25, 2012
2 Ways to Store MushroomsSkills
Mushrooms have a permanent place on my shopping list. I don’t always have a plan for using them, but I know that after a week of slipping them into frittatas and stir-fries, I’ll be ready to buy more. For longest shelf-life, I use two different methods for storing my mushrooms.For commercial mushrooms that I buy plastic-wrapped at the grocery store, I keep them in their original packaging in the refrigerator.
Jan 11, 2012
Fungi Fun: The Secret Sex Life of Black TrufflesSkills
We know the rare and expensive black truffle grows underground on the roots of oak trees, but until now the exact method by which the fungi spread was a mystery.A team of scientists in Italy has uncovered the secret of black truffle reproduction — and it looks a whole lot like a junior high school dance.Black truffles, it turns out, are either male or female and — unlike most fungi which reproduce asexually or through self-fertilization — they need each other to reproduce.
Nov 3, 2010
What Is the Best Way to Use Fresh Black Truffles?Skills
Q: I happen to have three fresh black truffles in my possession (long story) that I need to use up pretty quickly. I was told to keep each one wrapped separately in paper towel and store in a glass jar in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. I’ve done as directed, but I got them a week ago, and today noticed a little mold on one.I’ve grated some on eggs, enjoyed them sliced on good bread with butter, but there is no way I can devour these things before they go completely bad.
Apr 14, 2010
Ingredient Spotlight: Enoki MushroomsSkills
These long, thin mushrooms with tiny caps are commonly found in Asian dishes, particularly Japanese dishes like nabemono and sukiyaki. Easily cultivated, they are grown and packaged in clusters, have a very crisp texture, and can keep for a week in the fridge.Pick mushrooms that are firm and white; reject any enoki that are discolored or slimy. Store them in a paper bag. When ready to use, pick apart what you need from the main cluster and trim off the woody parts of the stems.
Mar 31, 2010
Ingredient Spotlight: Shiitake MushroomsSkills
One of the most common and easily-acquired Asian mushrooms is the shiitake mushroom. Shiitakes grow on trees in the wild, but are easily cultivated on wood chips or logs, they are available as mushroom growing kits.Shiitakes are often found in dried form, but fresh shiitakes are readily available year-round. To prepare, fresh shiitakes don’t really need a cleaning since they grow on wood; they aren’t often dirty, but inspect them anyway.
Mar 17, 2010
Ingredient Spotlight: King Trumpet MushroomsSkills
Perhaps you’ve seen these thick, stumpy mushrooms with small, flat caps at Asian markets. They’re part of the oyster mushroom species and are sometimes called king oysters since they’re the largest of the oyster mushroom species. While native to the Mediterranean, these mushrooms are popular in Asian cooking. They hold up well in soups and stir fries, and are terrific when cooked as tempura. These mushrooms have very little flavor or aroma when raw.
Mar 10, 2010
Ingredient Spotlight: Buna-Shimeji MushroomsSkills
Shimeji mushrooms are a group of mushroom varieties characterized by long stems and tight concave caps. There are over 20 species of shimeji mushrooms, including enoki and pioppino. This post is about the buna-shimeji, which is also called the beech mushroom and the brown clamshell mushroom.Buna-shimeji grow in a cluster and have pale stems that are about a quarter of an inch thick and between two to three inches long. The tight caps are light brown in color and have tiny gills underneath.
Feb 23, 2010
Ingredient Spotlight: Maitake Mushroom A.K.A. “Hen of the Woods”Skills
To me, this ruffled cluster mushroom smells like beer. Whenever I have one in the refrigerator, it always confuses me when I open the door. I always think there’s a spilled beer bottle back there somewhere. But the maitake mushroom doesn’t taste like beer.Maitake mushrooms, also known as Hen of the Woods, are clusters of small, fan-shaped caps that grow on trees. They are also able to be cultivated successfully. The caps are ruffled and are often a grayish-brown color, sometimes tan.
Feb 17, 2010
Seasonal Spotlight: Matsutake MushroomSkills
These mushrooms, whose name means “pine” (matsu) and “mushroom” (take) grow under pine trees in Japan, parts of China, and the North American West Coast. They’re also found in parts of Northern Europe. Sought-after and prized by the Japanese, these mushrooms can sell for up to $2000 per kilogram in Japan. Here in San Francisco, I found them going for $10 per pound. Their seasonal window is very short, usually from October to January.Their fragrance is wonderful.
Dec 1, 2009
Ingredient Spotlight: Wood Ear MushroomsSkills
Perhaps you’ve noticed these thin, brown slivers of crunchy, squeaky mushrooms in hot and sour soup or in stir-fries. Called wood ear mushrooms, they’re more easily found in dried form, but fresh ones can sometimes be found in Asian markets. And like their name states, they do grow on trees and they also look like ears!This mushroom is also known as tree fungus, jelly fungus, Jew’s Ear, and Judas’ Ear. They’re commonly found in Asian cuisine.
Oct 9, 2009
Tip: Use Mushroom Stems in Your Next OmeletGourmetSkills
All too often we slice the caps of our mushrooms and toss the stems. It’s especially tempting when working with portabellas, where the wide, meaty caps are the the main event, and the stems are an afterthought. But here’s a way to use the whole mushroom, tip to end.Just like with the tougher ends of asparagus, mushroom stems can be sliced thin and used in any number of dishes. Gourmet is pushing them for omelets.
Jun 1, 2009
Quick Tip: How to Clean Morel MushroomsSkills
Morels are one of our favorite mushrooms of all time, and they’re in season right now! Since they’re harvested from the wild, morels come with a fair amount of grit and all those little nooks and crannies can be hard to clean. Here’s how we do it…There’s a lot of debate about whether morels should be rinsed under water, dry-brushed with a paper towel, or soaked in salted water remove the grit.
Apr 21, 2009
Seasonal Spotlight: Wine Cap MushroomsSkills
Wine cap mushrooms are found in the spring and fall. They have beautiful cream-colored stems topped with a reddish brown-colored cap. When the mushroom is younger, the cap is shaped like a bell. As the mushroom grows, the cap flattens. The cap can get as large as a dinner plate! However, they’re best eaten young, before the gills darken.Wine cap mushrooms give off too much liquid while cooking, so they aren’t great for sautéing.
Nov 24, 2008
Tip: Save Shiitake Mushroom Stems for Soups!Skills
Most recipes only use the shiitake mushroom cap and say to discard the tough stem. But instead of just throwing them away, try using those stems to flavor your soups and stocks!The stems of shiitake mushrooms are too fibrous to eat, but they still pack a lot of flavor. Just a few stems can infuse a broth with rich flavors and earthy aromas. The stems are especially good in vegetable and broth-based soups (as opposed to thick stews).
Oct 24, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Pink Oyster MushroomsSkills
As the weather gets cooler and the rains come, mushroom collectors go off into the woods to hunt for prizes. We haven’t had any rain in the Bay Area yet, but if you’re getting rain in your area, you may be seeing more fungi at your local farmer’s markets and greengrocers.We have been seeing a lot of cultivated mushrooms showing up at the markets here, and one new item making the rounds is the pink oyster mushroom.
Sep 22, 2008
Hey! You Can Wash MushroomsSkills
We once interviewed a mushroom farmer for a magazine article, and she said something we never forgot: “Mushrooms need a shower, not a bath.”And so, while every cook we see on TV tells us to wipe each mushroom with a damp cloth and never, ever rinse for fear those porous mushrooms will just soak up water and turn to mush, we’ve been happily giving ours a quick run under the faucet. It’s far less time-consuming and, frankly, they taste just fine.
Jul 1, 2008
Survey: Do You Wash Mushrooms Before Cooking Them?Skills
Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are a highlight of the winter time Greenmarkets here in NYC. We’ve been grilling them for an English pub inspired breakfast, tossing them into fritatta, stews, and a healthy pasta sauce. Yesterday we even had a pile of mushrooms on top of some hummus for lunch.Every time we cook with these perfect mushrooms, we stop for a sec and ask ourselves: to wash or not to wash? Should we just brush off the dirt and charge ahead? Or run them under water? What do you do?
Feb 20, 2008
Word of Mouth: Mushroom DuxellesSkills
Duxelles [dook-SEHL, deu-SEHL]n. A thick mixture of minced mushrooms and shallots slowly cooked with butter and herbs, used for flavoring soups and sauces and for fillings. This admittedly unphotogenic mushroom mixture is a deceptively simple way to add rich, intense flavor to many dishes, and it’s easy to make ahead and have on hand for quick appetizers. Wrap a teaspoonful in puff pastry and bake, or stuff into chicken breasts.
Oct 2, 2006