10

I'm preparing a creamy mushroom pasta. The first step is sauteing and browning the mushrooms. The recipe calls for a variety mushrooms including chanterelles. Unfortunately, I can't find any fresh chanterelles so I opted for dried ones.

Considering the rest of the mushrooms will be fresh, what should I do? Should I rehydrate the dried mushrooms with water beforehand? Or let the moisture from the fresh mushrooms rehydrate them in the pan?

  • 1
    A little bit of moisture in the pan helps fresh mushrooms cook ... so wet re-hydrated mushrooms should improve the cooking of the others. Also, it'll wash off any grit that might be on the dry mushrooms (see cooking.stackexchange.com/a/8596/67 ) – Joe Jan 10 at 15:15
  • 3
    Chanterelles rehydrate poorly, remaining fairly leathery. – Russell Jan 10 at 20:55
  • 1
    @Russell Agreed, it actually worked out nicely for this dish though. – dyeje Jan 11 at 23:19
20

I would .. hydrate the dried mushrooms in enough near-boiling water to cover, plus a bit, for as long as you like. Lift the mushrooms out and reserve the soaking liquor. Sauté the soaked mushrooms along with the fresh

If your recipe involves a reduction stage, of wine, stock, or some other ingredient, add the liquor, and reduce alongside..

Or, if there is no step like that, add to the mushrooms at the end of the sauté step, and reduce to a tablespoon or two before proceeding with the recipe.

Take care not to add any grit or sand that may accumulate at the bottom of your soaking liquid: give the soaking mushrooms a stir or shake every now and then to coax it out, if there is any. Lift the mushrooms out rather than straining, and carefully pour the liquor off the lees, when the time comes.

As Sdarb points out in the commentary, you can measure the quantity after soaking, if you need to. That won't be exactly equivalent to the same measure of fresh mushrooms.. but if you're not wildly out, in a recipe of this kind, that shouldn't be critical. Taste as you go.

  • 2
    Great answer the only thing I would add is that the mushrooms should be measured after rehydration. – Sdarb Jan 10 at 19:48
  • 2
    @Sdarb .. Quite true .. I'm making assumptions .. Edited. ( I probably wouldn't measure a recipe like this.. but then, I probably wouldn't be using a recipe :D) – Robin Betts Jan 10 at 20:08
  • 2
    I personally find stock much better for rehydration, and you can usually incorporate it into the dish. – Zuke Nukem Jan 10 at 22:56
  • 1
    @ZukeNukem I'm with you.. but without seeing the recipe, couldn't be sure there was any to be used that way., or if it would suit .. – Robin Betts Jan 11 at 5:58
6

Realize that the flavor of dried mushroom is different from fresh. You will probably use less, depending on the mushroom. However, to answer your question specifically, rehydrate first.

  • 1
    I tend to get better result by using milk instead of water for rehydrating mushroom. I thought this was standard practice, surprised to not see it mentioned. – Jeffrey Jan 11 at 0:57
  • @Jeffrey If it was standard practice, why mention it? ;-) – Konrad Rudolph Jan 11 at 9:33
  • @Jeffrey - I've never heard of that. I'll give it a try. – spodger Jan 11 at 9:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.