1. Health & Lifestyle

How to Choose Mushrooms for Cooking and How to Store them

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, green chillies, onion, bell peppers, and dried red chilies

We all know mushrooms are rich in nutrients and delicious, but are low in calories. These exotic fungi have the power to take your recipes to a new level in flavor.  

Love mushrooms? Want to try different mushroom recipes?  But don’t know if the mushrooms are fresh and the best for cooking?  

5 Mushrooms that are commonly available in the market: 

  • Button mushrooms

  • Portobello mushrooms 

  • Cremini mushrooms 

  • Shiitake mushrooms 

  • Wild mushrooms 

Smart tips to choose mushrooms for cooking 

  • Always pick mushrooms that are firm, smooth, and dry.  

  • Avoid mushrooms that are spotty, bruised, soft, and slimy.  

  • Choose bigger or medium-sized mushrooms than smaller ones.  

  • Younger mushrooms feature closed caps and are more compact. Those with open caps, revealing the gills at their undersides, are mature mushrooms. Now, whether you choose young or mature mushrooms depends on your preference.  

You must also know how to detect whether a mushroom is edible or poisonous.  

Sliced mushrooms with chopped onions and tomatoes

Difference between younger and mature mushrooms 

Mature mushrooms harbour more flavor. But, when you cook them, their texture tends to get slimier. This is because the dark gills break down when exposed to high heat of cooking.  

Should you choose sliced mushrooms? 

Many shops sell sliced mushrooms. These mushrooms have shorter shelf life because their surfaces have been exposed to air. So, if you are planning to cook mushrooms for lunch or dinner the same day, you can buy sliced mushrooms.  

If you plan to store them, it is better to bring home whole mushrooms. These can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days 

How to store mushrooms? 

  • Before storing, wash mushrooms thoroughly. First soak them in a bowl of water. Then clean them by gently rubbing them with fingers to remove any dirt that might be sticking on the surface.  

  • Store fresh mushrooms in a zip-lock pouch or a paper bag and refrigerate them.  

  • Store them only for 3-4 days maximum, not more.  

  • Do not freeze mushrooms. This will make them slimy and destroy their unique texture. You can, however, freeze cooked ones. Yet, it’s best to cook fresh mushrooms and eat them freshly cooked too.  

  • If the stored mushrooms become floppy, discard them.  

Grilled mushrooms

Do not cook mushrooms for longer, only a few minutes will do. If you want to relish the flavours of any kind of mushroom, cook them quick and gently. Stir fry them. Add them to soups and curries.  

Remember this before you choose mushrooms in your diet 

Never eat raw mushrooms. Human body cannot digest them. You may suffer from gastric distress. Many people eat mushrooms in salads thinking they are giving their bodies the benefits of raw vegetables. However, mushrooms are not vegetables!  

Many people don’t know this even. They think them to be vegetables. But, mushroom is a kind of edible fungus. Now, when you know this, you would naturally not want to eat fungus raw!  

Scientifically speaking, our body cannot extract nutrients from raw mushrooms due to the fungi’s thick cell walls. When you cook mushrooms, their cell walls break down. This makes them readily digestible and their nutrients readily absorbable.  

And if you are confused what mushrooms to choose, read this: https://krishijagran.com/health-lifestyle/top-mushroom-varieties-that-add-flavor-to-indian-recipes/ 

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