I'm new to the idea of cooking with dried (reconstituted) mushrooms and am wondering how they would differ from fresh when cooked.

Specifically, is the texture noticeably different? What types of (cooked mushroom) dishes and cooking techniques are appropriate for dried vs. fresh?

Related questions: 1, 2

  • What is "reconstituted" when you say reconstituted mushrooms? Would steaming smoked salmon be considered "reconstituting" the salmon?
    – Cynthia
    Mar 24, 2013 at 22:29
  • 1
    @BlessedGeek I thought it was common knowledge that hydrating mushrooms by soaking them in warm or cold water per the instructions. This question is about dehydrated mushrooms, not smoked salmon. Mar 24, 2013 at 22:31
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    I don't think it directly answers your question, but this article by Mark Bittman in the NYT may be of interest: nytimes.com/2012/11/25/magazine/mushroom-magic.html
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 24, 2013 at 22:42
  • I have had dried shiitakes my whole life and no one in my community has ever considered rehydrating them as reconstituting the mushrooms. When you say "reconstituting", it brings the image of molding mushroom powder paste back into mushroom shapes. Which is why I asked, for the sake of language, would you consider rehydrating smoked salmon "reconstituting" the salmon.
    – Cynthia
    Mar 24, 2013 at 23:30
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    @BlessedGeek "Reconstitute" is a completely normal term for rehydrating dried food to bring it back to something like its original form. If you google "reconstituting dried mushrooms" you'll see this.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 25, 2013 at 0:03

2 Answers 2


Dehydrated mushrooms usually have a really intense flavor, and are a bit tougher than fresh mushrooms. Reconstituted they can be use in risotto, filled pasta, duxelles for an enhanced mushroom flavor.


Although in theory any mushroom could be dried, most often it is only the more "expensive" or rare species (such as porcini/ceps or morels) which are dried since this allows them to stored for an indefinite time and much more easily transported.

Saying that, shitake mushrooms are often found dried and are neither rare nor particularly expensive (indeed, unlike many fungus species they can be successfully cultivated).

Dried mushrooms are also much quicker since they are usually already prepared (washed, sliced, etc) and just have to be rehydrated in water for use. (Also the water the mushrooms have rehydrated in makes a great instant mushroom 'stock')

The flavor of dried mushrooms is more concentrated too and so less is needed for a recipe and I also agree with @BenjamínAbarzúaFernández that dried mushrooms tend to be tougher than fresh mushrooms.

Dried mushrooms are actually used as a different ingredient altogether, in fact the River Cafe Cookbook Green writes:

[Porcini mushrooms] are used throughout the year, not as a substitute for the fresh mushroom, but as a separate valid ingredient in recipes

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