How to cook with dried mushrooms
DRIED MUSHROOMS – AN UMAMI POWERHOUSE!
Mushrooms are not only high in fiber and vitamins but also fat- and cholesterol-free. They're popular around the world due to their versatility as well as their meat-like texture.
Mushrooms (dried and fresh), are naturally high in glutamate; an amino acid primarily responsible for creating the umami sensation. Dried mushrooms make it particularly easy to amplify that when cooking.
Fresh mushrooms have a high percentage of water (approx. 80% of their weight), and when that is removed, you are left with a highly concentrated product, packed with flavor and nutrients. Unlike vegetables, which lose much of their nutritional value when dried, mushrooms retain all of their nutritional and medicinal properties.
How to cook with Dried Mushrooms?
Dried mushrooms need to be reconstituted with water before you can use them, and this produces two wonderful things: the mushrooms themselves and their flavorful soaking liquid. Use a ratio of about 1:10 with water; if you use 20gr of dried mushrooms, you will need 200gr of water. Let them stay in the water at least for 1 hour to get the most out of them.
One of the big challenges with dried mushrooms is the grit. Dried mushrooms are notoriously gritty and it only takes the tiniest amount of them to ruin a whole dish. Most of the grit will end up in the broth but there will be some on the mushrooms themselves. Once you drain your mushrooms from the broth put them under cold water and rinse them well to remove any residual grit. In the event that you can see substantial grit in your both, you can get rid of it by running it through a fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter, towel, or cheesecloth.
Once you have rehydrated dried mushrooms, try to use them immediately. That’s when they’re at their best.
Don’t forget! After rehydrating your dried mushrooms they need to be cooked like the fresh ones. You can saute them or simmer them in a liquid.
Once soaked, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. The delicious broth can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 days.
Both can be used in soups, stews, sauces, pates, and gratins. Often dried mushrooms are used in conjunction with not-so-flavorful button mushrooms to give them a boost. Dried mushrooms add a rich, meaty, savory note and are high in umami.
There are many conversion ratios for substituting dried mushrooms for fresh. Substitution is not the way to go in this case. Dried and fresh mushrooms have different flavors and textures. That means that if you substitute them, they will not taste or feel the same. Dried mushrooms tend to have an earthier and stronger flavor than fresh mushrooms.