Drying mushrooms yourself: how do you do that (and why)?

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Most people who enter an Asian store for the first time are completely overwhelmed. Not only because of the large selection of unknown vegetables, dozens of types of sambal and a lot of spices, but also because of the huge shelf of dried mushrooms. Because what on earth are you supposed to do with that? The answer is actually: a lot. And you can dry mushrooms yourself too!

But watch out: before you know it you’ll be addicted and there’s no going back.

What do you use dried mushrooms for?

When you walk past that gigantic shelf with dried mushrooms, you might think: why? That is a good question. The answer is: umami . When you dry mushrooms, their umami flavor becomes very concentrated, and therefore very intense.

That strong taste is very useful if you want to make your own stock , because it instantly becomes an umami bomb. For example, dried shiitake is often used for dashi , a well-known Japanese stock. However, dried mushrooms are also used for other things, such as stir -fries .

In fact, you can use dried mushrooms in most cases where you would otherwise use their fresh equivalent, as long as you soak them in warm water first. Dried specimens are extra useful because no moisture comes out (as is the case with mushrooms).

Photo of dried mushrooms

Dry your own mushrooms

Convinced? Beautiful. Then you can of course run to the Asian supermarket to stock up on dried mushrooms, but you can also dry them yourself. This can be done by placing them in the oven for a very long time at a low temperature, or by purchasing a food dehydrator. But there is also an easier way, The woks of life showed us.

The trick? Let your fresh mushrooms air dry! That sounds a bit crazy, but it really works. Especially when the air in your house is very dry, such as in winter (but it is also possible in autumn and spring). It is important that air flows everywhere around the fungi. This can be done, for example, in a colander with legs, such as a rice colander.

Be sure to scrub your mushrooms before drying them, but don’t wash them in water; the method no longer works. Also make sure that the mushrooms are fresh when you put them in the colander, and that they are not too close together. Put them in a dry place with enough fresh air, and simply let them dry. A dark place is not necessary per se – in fact, (indirect) sunlight is good.

After one to two weeks, the dried mushrooms should be good; you can test that by squeezing it. If they do not yield, then they are ready and you can store them for years (if in a dark, dry place). An experiment worth trying!

You can cook this with dried mushrooms:

  • Mushroom dashi ramen with vegetables and fried tofu
  • vegetarian mushroom lasagna from Ottolenghi
  • Potato ravioli with mushrooms from chef Marco Westmaas

Source: Culy by culy.nl
*The article has been translated based on the content of Culy by culy.nl If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process it as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author.

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