I'm following a recipe for making ramen broth. It says to use chicken stock and boil it with several fresh ingredients for 30 minutes to flavor it, one of which is mushrooms.

Being a very inexperienced cook I searched online for how to handle mushrooms for cooking. One of the pages I found is by the Norwegian food safety authority and says that mushrooms should be put in cold water and brought to a boil, letting them boil for 10 minutes to remove toxins in them, and that this should be done even if you plan on frying the mushrooms afterwards. It also specifically says that the water used to boil the mushrooms should always be thrown away, I'm guessing because the toxins gets mixed into the water when you boil the mushrooms.

My question is, would these toxins not get into the my broth if I am putting the raw mushrooms directly into it? The recipe says nothing about boiling the mushrooms before hand, or is this just something I should know to do?

I also see a lot of recipes for mushroom sauces/soups which says to put raw mushrooms directly into the dish as it is being made, would this not have the same problem?`

I am using common white button mushrooms (Champignon).

  • 9
    Normal mushrooms from the supermarket can be eaten raw, so anything saying they must be cooked is suspect.
    – Chris H
    Sep 29, 2018 at 8:04
  • 6
    @ChrisH : it's possible that different areas may have different food safety expectations. In some areas, you can't just wash an apple, due to the pesticides they use; you must peel them. If Henrik is in Norway, and the website is from a legit group (government agency, etc) in that country, I'd recommend following their advice.
    – Joe
    Sep 29, 2018 at 13:03
  • 4
    Could be that they are giving advice concerning local mushrooms with particular characteristics. There are many plants that require cooking before being safe, such as Taro or Fiddleheads in BC. A general "mushrooms need to be cooked" is over the top, but stating mushrooms never need to be could put people at risk if they use particular species. With the OP's button mushrooms, it's probably safe though. Conversely, I would also not take the Norvegian advice to mean all mushrooms are fine if cooked because that somehow removes their toxins. Sep 29, 2018 at 22:44
  • @Joe it still won't remove toxins from non-mushrooms, but I suppose if real mushrooms are commonly grown in manure it might be worth recommending cooking. Norway's not EU but it is EEA and so shares a lot of food regs. As there's no link to the source (and I for one wouldn't be able to read it in Norwegian) so no context to assess relevance, however I've found a [document in English from the Nordic Council of Ministers](norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:702830/FULLTEXT01.pdf) which may provide some context on P51, but specifically frying is good, like boiling
    – Chris H
    Oct 1, 2018 at 9:29

3 Answers 3


In Norway lots of people still pick their own mushrooms and the Norwegian safety rules for mushrooms picked in the wild do not apply to Champignons you buy in a supermarket in 99.99999% of all cases. ¹

Note ¹: Unless something went horribly wrong in the food supply chain.


I've found a source of some interesting background:

Mushrooms traded as food. Vol II sec. 1 Nordic Risk assessments and background on edible mushrooms, suitable for commercial marketing and background lists. For industry, trade and food inspection. Background information and guidance lists on mushrooms published by the Nordic Council of Ministers says on p.51:

As it is concluded from animal and in vitro studies that the phenylhydrazine derivatives occuring in Button Mushroom (A. bisporus) as well as the mushroom itself may be genotoxic and carcinogenic, a carcinogenic risk for humans cannot be excluded. It is therefore recommended not to eat Button Mushroom in larger amounts. A significantly higher intake than 2 kg/year (average consumption in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) is regarded as “larger amounts”. Proper processing of the fresh mushroom reduces the amounts of potentially carcinogenic constituents. The fried, microwaveheated, boiled (especially if boiling water is discarded), and canned mushrooms contain significantly less of the potentially carcinogenic phenylhydrazines. Also ordinary freezing and subsequent thawing (but not freeze-drying) will reduce the content of phenylhydrazine in the mushroom. It is therefore recommended to process/ cook Button Mushroom before consumption

but note that this specifically states that frying reduces these compounds significantly. The precautionary advice is also based on consumption of >2kg/year. Similar advice is not given in many countries sharing common food regulations and cultures. So if you're only eating them occasionally, my interpretation of the quote above is that you've got nothing to worry about, especially is you're doing any kind of cooking.

Frying the mushrooms first is a real help if you want to maximise the savoury flavour from them, but pre-boiling is likely to extract some flavour which you then discard.


This might be the cause of those worries, on general mushrooms.


If you follow the link (I didn't post direct because I think Scientific American listing it makes it a bit more credible than some blog's opinion), the dietician states that, while there is agaratine, which is a toxin, in many mushrooms, including those people normally eat raw, the practical dose makes it a non-issue in many cases.

See also http://www.anh-usa.org/supermarket-mushrooms-dangerous-to-eat-raw/

If you want to be sure Google up "raw <your mushroom variety> recipe". But I'm not losing any sleep over this myself over the mushrooms I find in my supermarket.

Also, if you're flavoring a broth, it really doesn't hurt to heat the mushrooms if in doubt and heating might actually be better for the flavor aspect. If you this was about mushroom in salads or the like then my own opinion is that that level of concern is unwarranted.

Edit: to be clear - look up what's relevant to the specific type of mushroom you are interested in, not the recipe or mushrooms in general. Be safe.

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