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Tips For Cleaning Mushrooms

The dirty truth is, mushrooms often come dusted with dirt. Cleaning them is important, but cooks differ on how to do it. Some say you should never wash them, because they will absorb too much water and lose flavor.

I've been told to use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom. I use this method if I have just a few mushrooms to wash, but with a big batch, it can be a real pain. To find out if this is really necessary,

.

I did a little research and was thrilled to discover that Mark Bittman claims that washing mushrooms won't hurt them. As long as you don't soak them for a seriously long time, putting the mushrooms in a colander and rinsing them under cool water is totally acceptable. Just be sure to blot them dry. I also like to trim the dirty ends off the stems, which gets rid of more dirt and makes them look prettier.

How do you clean mushrooms? Share your tips below.

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cravinsugar cravinsugar 7 years
insanitypepper: you should tell your husband to cook it himself then! I couldn't put up with that. my boyfriend ate a flopped batch of laredo I made so as not to hurt my feelings...he even took seconds and said it was delish! he kids me about it now, but he was so nice when it happened! ( i put the cream in when the pan was too hot)
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 7 years
I rinse them and cut the bottom of the stem. If they still look dirty I will peel the dirty parts off. I never believed that rinsing would affect the flavor. I don't buy mushrooms if they look really dirty anyway.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I've never understood how wiping mushrooms with a damp cloth is supposed to get them clean. The mushrooms I buy are always covered in dirt and require actual scrubbing. And if I accidentally let any dirt get past me and into the meal, my husband will run to spit out his food in the trash can and refuse to eat the rest.
merie33 merie33 7 years
I peel them. The top layer is very thin, but it effectively removes all of the grime!
mcfolly mcfolly 7 years
Might sound funky, but I rinse out a scrubby kitchen sponge, then I use that to scrub off the dirt. It does a great job of it. And truthfully, any germs you might be adding are going to be cooked away when they are added to a hot pan, so no worries here.
BCSJ22 BCSJ22 7 years
I learned this trick in a cooking class i took. If you take off the stem and then use two fingers to grip the skin from under the mushroom you can peel off a thin layer of the mushroom...thus removing the dirt...it takes a few peels to get the outer layer of the mushroom completely clean but i just go in a clockwise motion and its done...it is quick and easy too.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I'm glad you posted this. I never knew if I was cleaning them enough, and I'm having them tonight so it's well timed.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
when i first started cooking with them i would just run them under the tap and do it that way and then i saw something on the food network where they said just to use a damp cloth so i changed to that but recently i've returned to doing it my old way. i don't think that the flavor is sacrificed at all...
cravinsugar cravinsugar 7 years
I wash 2-3 at at ime under the tap, by hand. I use my fingers to brush off any dirt that seems like it wants to stay.
w w 7 years
According to Heston Blumenthal and Harold McGee, washing mushrooms results in them soaking up a negligible amount of water.. which really makes sense seeing as we all knew mushrooms were 90% water anyway! See this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2003/sep/13/foodanddrink.shopping
TheChinaman TheChinaman 7 years
I rinse mine off in water. I always doubted that there were detrimental effects of getting them wet. Good Eats did an episode where they soaked mushrooms in water to see how much they soaked up. Granted it wasn't the most accurate experiment, but the results definitely showed that mushrooms don't rapidly soak up water. I also realize that the stuff the grow mushrooms on is pasteurized and likely won't hurt you, but I don't want to find out what dirt tastes like...
SarahPW SarahPW 7 years
a mushroom brush is a great way to clean- just a little bit of water.
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