Clean mushrooms just before you are about to use them. To clean them, gently brush away the dirt (which is actually peat moss) with a soft brush or wipe with a damp paper towel and trim any stem ends.
Contrary to the myth that you cannot wash mushrooms, if they’re really dirty, you can give them a quick rinse in cold water and pat dry. Soaked mushrooms may add a small amount of water but they’re already high in water content so cleaning them doesn’t make too much of a difference. The most noticeable difference is that it may take an extra minute or two for the mushrooms to release their juices before they start to brown.
If you are cooking with Shiitake mushrooms, remember that they have a tough stem that needs to be removed. Other mushroom varieties typically have tender stems and can be left intact. After being cleaned, mushrooms can be chopped, sliced, grated, torn or left whole.
Mushrooms can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
You may be familiar with the term “don’t crowd the mushrooms”. To brown mushrooms, it’s recommended that you cook them in smaller amounts so they will have more space in the pan to release their water content, which will evaporate. Cooking large batches of mushrooms will also yield this result provided you cook them longer and do not disturb the mushrooms’ contact with the heat. Once mushrooms release their water content, they will shrink and then brown. Be patient and let them brown before stirring!
To Sautee: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add 8 ounces of mushrooms, and stir the mushrooms until all of their juices have evaporated.
To Butter Steam: Cut mushrooms lengthwise into ¼ inch slices. Butter-steam up to 5 cups of mushrooms at a time by using 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to allow the mushrooms to steam and cook off their moisture and to acquire even browning.
To Grill: Use button, brown, or shiitake mushrooms. Cut off tough stem ends. Thread smaller mushrooms on skewers. Brush with oil, butter or margarine. Grill for about 10 minutes.
To Microwave: Cut 1 pound of mushrooms lengthwise into ¼ inch slices, or into halves or quarters. Place in a microwave-safe dish. Dot with 6 tsp of butter or margarine. Cover and microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 2 minutes.
To Stir-fry: Cut mushrooms lengthwise into ¼ inch slices, or into halves or quarters. Stir-fry up to 5 cups at a time, using 1 tablespoon of oil, for 3 to 4 minutes.