“I don’t like mushrooms because they’re mushy and look like slugs” is something I hear so often, which is a crying shame because there’s so much flavour and texture to extract from ‘shrooms! Here’s the answer to those woes and how to not to do them a disservice.
Dry sautéing, aka cooking in a pan without fat, liquid or sauce is the easiest way get the best texture and concentrated flavour out the little fun-guys. Mushrooms have a super high water content so benefit from a dry fry as the heat from the pan helps to release their juices. What you’re left with is an intensely, mushroomy mushroom with less of the off-putting mush.
There’s no easier way to cook mushrooms:
- Add a handful of cut/ torn mushrooms to a pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan as you’ll just end up steaming your mushrooms, instead of browning them.
- Watch, toss & turn often.. The heat of the pan will help to work the moisture out of the mushrooms. A sprinkling of salt will help to draw the water out.
- When they’re toasty and nutty looking, leave them as they are, add a knob of butter/ oil and cook further or deglaze the pan to capture some lovely flavour that may have stuck to it.
- Serve them on toast, stir them into pasta sauces or risottos, blitz them up in soups or just dip them into a beautiful aioli and nibble on them as they are.
Here’s a lovely recipe for Mushroom, Black Garlic & Sage Soup to try out your dry sautéing technique which really helps to intensify the flavour of this comforting soup.