1 Drying Mushrooms

Friday, April 23, 2010

I had a lot of portabella mushrooms leftover, and I didn't want them to go to waste before I could use them, so I decided to try oven-drying them for storage and use later in things like soups and rice.  It was actually really easy, just time-consuming.

Pre-heat your oven to 150-170 F.  (170 is the lowest my oven goes.)  Very thinly slice your mushrooms.  You might even want to break out your mandolin for this.  I would have, but I wanted to practice my precise knife skillz.  Lay them in a non-stick sheet pan in an even, single layer.

(Even more even than this - I did fix it after I snapped the pic.)

Then, slide the pan(s) into your oven and bake for an hour.  If you have two pans, switch them around after 30 minutes.  When they come out they should look something like this

A little drier, but you'd be surprised how much water is in those!  Take some paper towels and lay them neatly across your sheet pan.

Then firmly press down on the mushrooms to try to extract as much water as you can.

After you've pressed it, flip all the mushrooms over.  I admit, this isn't the easiest feat, but do the best you can.   Again, make sure that the layer is as even as possible, and pop it back into the oven for another hour (again, rotate if you have more than one pan.)  The next time it comes out it should look like this.

Repeat the steps above - you are looking to bake off all the water content in the mushrooms.  After another hour or so, you should be done.

It's amazing how much they shrink!  Now, store in a sealed, air-tight container, and they'll keep for months.  Dried mushrooms have a very concentrated flavor, so keep that in mind.  They can also be re-hydrated in some water before using (but please, only use for cooked dishes, not fresh!  It'd just be weird.)

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1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I never thought of drying my own mushrooms. It's a good idea but definitely looks like a lot of time consuming work. Of course, this does make me have a little more understanding for why they are always so expensive when you buy them.

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