How to cook mushrooms: from cremini to shiitake

“Mushrooms recycle,” said Olga Katek, owner of Mushroom Mountain, a South Carolina mushroom farm and education center. It can grow on natural by-products, such as corn husks, wood chips, sawdust, seed husks — and yes compost — that would otherwise be discarded.

Mushrooms are also considered a sustainable crop because they do not need a lot of resources to thrive. “It really doesn’t require a lot of water and it doesn’t require a lot of space either,” Katek said. It only takes 2 gallons of water to grow one pound of mushrooms, versus roughly 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.
Since mushrooms can be grown indoors, no farmland is necessary for crop production. One acre of area can produce 1 million mushrooms annually, according to the American Mushroom Institute. In addition, the mushrooms emit very little carbon dioxide during growth – less than 1 pound per pound of mushrooms.

In addition to its benefits for the environment, mushrooms are good for our bodies as well. They are a healthy source of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, while being low in fat, cholesterol, and calories.

Mushrooms can be a powerful source of vitamin D that can be “boosted” by sunlight, according to studies. “If you get some mushrooms from the store and expose the gills — the feathery ribs on the underside of the mushroom cap — to sunlight, their vitamin D content goes up,” Katik said.

“There are a lot of interesting compounds in it,” Katic added, including selenium, potassium and beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that can help fight heart disease and lower cholesterol.

The humble mushroom is the latest superfood

The delicious, earthy taste of mushrooms makes them a versatile and delicious ingredient in many dishes. Enjoy mushrooms this fall and explore the many popular varieties — both wild and cultivated — that you’ll find at your local markets with these recipes and cooking ideas.

But before you start, clean the mushrooms. A common misconception is that you cannot use water to clean mushrooms. Despite having a high water content on their own, food scientists have shown that mushrooms don’t absorb much water when rinsed or even soaked.

Save time in the kitchen and stop scanning single mushrooms. Instead, rinse the mushrooms in a colander or colander, then gently transfer them to a cotton (non-woven) kitchen towel. Gently wrap the towel to dry the mushrooms, then slice them or prep them as needed for your recipe.

Dig into the vast world of fungi

Button mushrooms and cremini mushrooms are the most common types you’ll see in the grocery store: both are round and about the size of a ping-pong ball with a mild flavor. It’s easy to slice and fry, considering the flavors that complement many recipes.

The button mushroom is a child of Agaricus bisporus – the most common mushroom – and is the first mushroom to be harvested. The cremini mushrooms are left to grow a little longer, so they turn brown and have a little more flavor.

If you don’t know what kind of mushrooms to buy and use for your meals, go with these ones, as they will go with just about anything. Make simple sautéed mushrooms that can be added to pasta, served on polenta or risotto, or used as a topping for bruschetta.
These varieties are also suitable for classic rib-eye dishes such as mushroom bourguignon or beef stew.

Whether the mushroom spells portobello or portabella, the mushroom is the same. This mushroom is the mature version of the cremini mushroom and has a more earthy flavour. (You’ll often see cremini mushrooms referred to as “baby bella” mushrooms because they are the immature version.)

Portobello mushrooms can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients.
Sliced ​​portobello mushrooms take up a lot of cooking space, so they’re an ideal tray filter, as they can caramelize and char at the edges. Try them in mushroom fajitas or as a main event in mushroom teriyaki rice dishes.

Whole portobello toppings can be grilled like steaks or stuffed with any combination of ingredients that fascinates you, whether it’s spinach, cheese, vegetables, quinoa, or a pizza topping.

Shiitake mushrooms have a bouncy, chewy texture and can handle high-heat cooking methods such as roasting or grilling. Soak whole shiitake caps in a marinade on the grill or grill them cut into slices to give them a crunchy brown edge.

Fried or roasted shiitake mushrooms maintain their meaty texture in skillet recipes like shrimp, shiitake and kale meal or coconut curry with soba noodles.
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Maitake mushrooms, also known as chicken of the jungle, resemble feathery petals that grow from a dense stem-like stem. Remove the beige, petal-like caps from the stems for cooking, and reserve the stems for homemade mushroom broth.
Due to their shape, maitake caps can be meaty at the end of the thickened stem and soft at their shell edges. Use that to your advantage and grill the patties in the oven or air-fry them to soften the edges, using the same method as the cauliflower florets. For a crunchy mushroom appetizer, make deep-fried, breaded Maitex fritters in your deep fryer, air fryer, or oven.
This rotten dish showcases the famous black truffle
Oyster mushrooms come in two different sizes: there are smaller oyster mushrooms, which grow in clusters similar to maitake, and the larger oyster, a thick-stemmed mushroom also known as king’s trumpet. Use baby oyster mushrooms, which have a smooth texture and mild flavor, as you would oyster fritters. They are also great for soaking up sauces in stir-fry dishes.

King Oyster mushrooms are incredibly tough, making them a vegetarian’s best friend for making many alternatives to meat and seafood.

Cut them horizontally into coins and make vegetable scallops or calamari mushrooms. Cut it lengthwise into strips and make bacon with grilled mushrooms. Or shred the mushroom stems—unlike most of the other varieties mentioned here, you’ll want to eat oyster mushroom stems—and make a vegetarian “cut ham.”
Enoki mushrooms are tender, with a delicate texture similar to al dente noodles. Like oyster mushrooms, their long stems are the main event. Try them simply steamed and dipped in a spicy garlic sauce, or as an ingredient in mushrooms and ramen choy boy, or with other noodle dishes. When enoki mushrooms are fried in the skillet, they turn into crunchy strands to make a vegan alternative to shredded pork carnitas.