I plan to cook a basic mushroom risotto. However, the supermarket near us did not have shitake or any other uncanned mushrooms, they only had dried ones. My question is, do I just remove the stem and place it straight into the risotto as the risotto finishes cooking?

I've seen and watched tutorials on how to cook a mushroom risotto. There are those who cook the mushroom (take out the stem and cut coarsely) by sautéing them in oil and onion. When the mushrooms sweat out, they put it in the risotto. However, there are those who cook out the mushroom and then add the rice in the same pot and cook the risotto. The point is that sweating out the mushrooms concentrate the flavor.

Since my mushrooms are already dry, do I have to do anything else aside from taking out the stem and cutting them coarsely? Is it acceptable if I sauté them or if I let them sit in hot water?


I found this recipe that adjusted the risotto recipe for what's available in our country. It mentioned that I should soak the dried mushrooms in hot water, strain that water, and if I got it correctly, add the liquid to my stock. Can I skip this process? What's the advantages of soaking the mushrooms in warm water?


1 Answer 1


I just made mushroom/truffle risotto for lunch! No joke!!

Here's what to do with the dried. First, rinse thoroughly, they're infamous for grit. Now soak them for one half an hour in a little bowl of the broth (hot) you intend to use for the risotto. No need to remove stems, just chop them up with the rest.

After one half an hour, wring them out, using your hands. Save the broth. Using a very fine sieve, or some cheesecloth, or even a coffee filter...pour the broth back into the broth you will use to make your risotto. If nothing else, just allow the little bowl of mushroom broth to sit for a bit, and pour carefully, most of the grit will sink.

Chop up the shrooms. If you can mix them with some diced up fresh, great.

BTW consider aged Gouda instead of Parmesan. Yummy!

Served with a sunny-side-up egg and buttered toast?? Fit for a queen.

The water that hydrates the mushrooms is very flavorful. It shouldn't be wasted.

  • Darn I just started to soak them in the warm water without washing them. There weren't no grits or anything that showed that we needed to wash it first before soaking. I'll keep that in mind next time I cook. Thanks!
    – Razgriz
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 1:39
  • @Razgriz : the washing doesn't help as much as agitating the mushrooms, then decanting (pouring off the top while letting the sediment remain behind). Washing while dry will miss any grit that's trapped in folds or crevices, anyway.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 14:16
  • @Razgriz Yep, the rinsing before is a good step, but not a critical one.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 2:56
  • Have you ever taste-tested your broth before and after soaking? In my answer here I come to the conclusion that the soaking liquid should be discarded. I seem to be in the minority though; most places I look say to reserve it. Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 4:26
  • @ChrisSteinbach Yes, I have. I think it comes down to taste, and to quantities. Certainly a sauce made mostly of mushroom hydration broth could be very bitter. I laughed at your Q&A before I upvoted it. My first thought was that it looked like a leaf from another's book. :)
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 6:02

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