Cooking with Dried Mushrooms

Dried Mushrooms can be a great replacement for fresh mushrooms or might even add versatility for specific recipes.  The important variable is how you rehydrate them.  The description included below is for using water to rehydrate, however, the real flavour opportunity is accessed when you rehydrate mushrooms with a broth or marinade.  Ideas for rehydrating this way can get wild if you want them to, but you just have to remember to have enough liquid to allow the mushrooms to soak it all up.  Flavour rehydration might utilize vegetable broth, bbq sauce and water or juice, soya sauce with sesame oil, miso, or any liquid with flavour you might dream up.  We'd love to hear from you about your favourite rehydration method.

Here is the simple rehydration method using water: 

  1. Cover the mushrooms using water: Use enough water so that the mushrooms are fully submerged.  Place a weighted plate or colander on top so that they stay submerged you can.
  2. Let them soak: Soaking time varies depending on the size of the dried mushroom.  Keep checking on them over 30 minutes.  You'll know when they're ready just by feel.  If you like, you can cut or break the dried mushrooms into smaller pieces to speed things up or you can use hot water.  If you start thinking about dinner early in the day then start soaking your mushrooms in room temperature water and simply put them in the fridge when they're ready.  Mushrooms are ready to go as soon as they have softened all the way through.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid: It's smart to use a mesh screen or a colander here as that lovely mushroom broth you've now got is something you won't want to throw down the drain.  If you're as wild as we are and like to use the flavour rehydration method listed above then you won't need to remove the mushrooms from the flavour in most cases.  Use the liquid in your favourite recipe or simply store it in the fridge (covered).  This will last about a week int he fridge, or about 3 months in the freezer.
  4. Cook with the Mushrooms in your favourite recipe: Don't be afraid of using them anywhere you'd use cooked mushrooms.  They typically soften up very nicely and taste great.  Many mushrooms are high in Vitamin D and even though mushrooms are dry they often keep their vitamin D levels in storage.  Some mushrooms even accumulate vitamin D in a dry state.  As we know here at NF Mushrooms, dried mushrooms are still alive in many ways.  All in all this is a great food and adds a lot of versatility to your kitchen pantry when wild mushrooms are seasonal, or when you see a special on our website, or in a grocery store...  Just throw them in your dehydrator and enjoy them in the winter months.