Almost every supermarket produce section has an array of cultivated, woodland, and dried mushrooms. But how do you handle them? Although mushrooms require special handling, there`s no real mystery to it.
First, buy top quality and don`t wash them until you`re ready to cook them. Be sure to purchase fresh mushrooms that are firm, without soft or soggy spots. They should smell pleasantly earthy, not dank or fishy.
Refrigerate mushrooms, unwashed, in a well-ventilated container or loosely covered with a dry towel and use them quickly.
Clean them only when you`re ready to use them; they`ll last longer this way. Most mushrooms need only a light wipe, never a soak.
If your mushrooms have stubborn dirt, wash them quickly under cool running water and dry them individually.
For larger quantities, set a colander in the sink, shower the mushrooms with the spray hose, and dry each individually.
In all cases, avoid soaking. Because of their spongelike texture, fresh mushrooms absorb a lot of water which dilutes flavor and makes mushy mushrooms.