How Do You Know Which Mushrooms To Use For A Recipe?
The best mushrooms are those you cook right.
When it comes to mushrooms,¬†one of the most popular is the button mushroom. These are¬†available in almost any supermarket that¬†has vegetables in its canned food aisle!
What you might not know is that beyond the button mushroom, there are other mushrooms that you can use for recipes. There is quite a range of different mushrooms that you can find in the supermarket and even in the palengkes if you look. The good news is that some mushrooms are¬†local mushrooms and¬†can easily even be grown in your home! These mushroom growing kits or mushroom fruiting bags are usually¬†inexpensive and easy to use. You can find these online and have the¬†option to buy the kits or the mushrooms themselves since these can multiply pretty fast once it starts to spout from the bags.¬†
The most common kinds of fresh mushrooms you'll find in supermarkets are these:¬†
- ‚ÄĘ button mushrooms¬†
- ‚ÄĘ oyster mushrooms¬†
- ‚ÄĘ shiitake mushrooms
- ‚ÄĘ Portobello mushrooms¬†
- ‚ÄĘ enoki mushrooms
- ‚ÄĘ¬†shimeji mushrooms¬†
- ‚ÄĘ king¬†oyster mushroom¬†
Button mushrooms are usually white but you can also find brown versions of these common mushrooms. You'll be surprised to know that these "brown button mushrooms" are¬†usually small Portobello mushrooms which explains why these brown mushrooms are more flavorful than the more neutral-tasting white buttons.¬†
Oyster¬†mushrooms are powder white and flare like an oyster shell. These mushrooms are common enough that you might find these when hiking through¬†our local forests, especially in the cooler areas like Tagaytay. These are probably the most¬†affordable kind of mushroom and are¬†super easy to cook since the¬†cap and the stem are edible.¬†
Enoki mushrooms are white as well but are super thin and straw-like in appearance but grow in tight bunches. Shimeji mushrooms also known as beech mushrooms look¬†similar to enoki mushrooms but have thicker stems and are usually brown capped. These mushrooms became more popular¬†courtesy of Japanese and¬†Korean cusines which you'll find use these kinds of mushrooms often in their recipes.¬†
One of the biggest mushrooms you might find¬†in the chilled section of your supermarket is the king oyster mushroom, also known as a king trumpet. These mushrooms¬†have very thick stems and brown flat caps. Unlike the Portobello which is prized for its caps, the king is prized for its stem¬†which is tender and edible like the¬†oyster mushroom.¬†
You¬†might be wondering how to cook different kinds of mushrooms and the good news is that can all be cooked in similar ways. Any of these kinds of mushrooms are delicious when fried, added to soups, roasted in the oven, grilled over hot charcoal, or simmered¬†in broths and other soups.
Simply put, mushrooms can be cooked using almost any method.¬†
In general, mushrooms are especially fantastic when fried. That's because mushrooms are loaded with umami! When seared until some browning occurs, the flavors of the mushrooms are intensified. However, it may look tricky to fry since mushrooms are mostly made of water and will sweat before they will brown. Some patience is needed when cooking mushrooms in this way.
To fry and sear mushrooms well,¬†you'll have to do a few things. For all fresh mushrooms, you'll need to brush off any visible dirt from the mushrooms and, if desired, dunk these into cold water to remove any remaining particles.¬†
Here's how to prepare and fry these different kinds of mushrooms for the best flavor:¬†
1¬†To fry mushrooms
To prepare:¬†Lightly brush mushrooms free of dirt and then cut into slices, chop¬†finely, cut into quarters, or leave whole. Do not season with salt.¬†
To cook: Heat a pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to the bottom of the pan to lightly cover or melt butter. Add¬†mushrooms¬†once the¬†pan is hot enough for searing. Leave the mushrooms to¬†fry in the oil until¬†the bottoms brown. (This may take up to 10 minutes per side without touching the mushrooms in the pan.) Flip or toss the pan to brown the other sides. Once browned, season with salt¬†and other seasonings as desired. Remove from the pan.¬†
2 To stir fry¬†mushrooms
To prepare:¬†lightly brush mushrooms free of dirt and then¬†cut into slices¬†or cut into quarters. Toss lightly in oil or seasonings¬†or as the recipe directs.¬†
To cook: Heat a wok over medium to high heat. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and heat until almost smoking. Add¬†mushrooms. Using a spatula or cooking spoon, toss and flip the mushrooms in the hot oil. Season lightly while tossing. Cook for up to 3 minutes for soft and tender mushrooms. Remove from the pan.¬†
3 To add mushrooms to soups
To prepare:¬†Lightly brush mushrooms free of dirt and then cut into slices, cut into quarters, or leave whole. If desired, wash the mushrooms. Do not season with salt.¬†
To cook: Heat a¬†pot¬†over medium to high heat. Cook ingredients as the recipe directs. When ready to add the mushrooms, simply add the cleaned mushrooms. Cook for up to 3 minutes for soft and tender mushrooms.
In reality, mushrooms are fantastic ingredients for beginner cooks because these ingredients are hard to overcook.¬†In fact, the longer you cook mushrooms, the¬†more water will evaporate from them, creating a deeper flavor. Mushrooms can become¬†a little tougher if overcooked, but if you're paying attention, you'll know when to stop cooking. This means you can cook mushrooms in your stews, braises, and even soups without overcooking the mushroom!¬†¬†
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