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mushroom stems

chewy_bakah Feb 6, 2009 06:40 AM

Some receipes call for removing the stem and I have also heard on some cooking shows.

Assumming the stem is not woody, what would the other reason be for removing the stem and not including it. Does the stem contain something that would be good for the dish? Why do receipes call for removing the stem even if it is just button mushrooms?

Thanks in advance!

  1. r
    razkolnikov Mar 5, 2009 07:51 PM

    If the dish needs broth or stock (like a basic mushroom sauce), cut off the stems, simmer them in stock and reduce by about half for a tasty mushroom broth. Remove stems, and freeze them for stock-making.

    1. l
      lergnom Mar 5, 2009 05:45 PM

      Another thing to do, especially with the relatively tasteless button ones, is to dice the stems. Then the cook down in the sauce and add depth.

      1. a
        AppetiteforChina Mar 5, 2009 04:13 PM

        I always trim because the stems, especially on shiitakes and portabellos, are too woody and fibrous. I'll keep the stems on button mushrooms, but only if I'm not worrying about appearance and if I'm cooking them (as opposed top putting them on salads.) For stocks I'll throw shiitakes right in.

        1. l
          Louise Mar 5, 2009 09:14 AM

          If they are tough like shiitake or (sometimes) portobello stems, then they go either into stock or compost. If it's just a cosmetic thing, you can always use the stems to make duxelles.

          1. alwayscooking Mar 5, 2009 08:43 AM

            Depends on the type and size of mushroom. Shiitake stems seem just too chewy so they go in the stock bag. Portobello are too woody, so ditto. Enoki, oyster, and button - just trim and use.

            1. e
              eatmyfood Mar 5, 2009 08:12 AM

              When I make a dish with mushrooms, I usually chop the stems in small dice and include them. They cook down and are barely noticable, but do add some extra body and flavor.


              1. todao Feb 6, 2009 07:16 AM

                Me too! LIke Kelli2006, I do cut off the extreme tip of the stem. For appearance sake, as ipsedixit pointed out, I do sometimes remove the stems when I slice the mushroom (especially if I'm serving them raw on a salad, etc.) for a particular use. But, even then, I save the stems to include in something else that might be cooked using them in a sauce (like spaghetti sauce) or as a final ingredient . If I'm preparing stuffed mushrooms I save the stems to use in the same way.

                1 Reply
                1. re: todao
                  chewy_bakah Mar 5, 2009 07:30 AM

                  good idea.

                  i will do that too... i thought it was such waste to throw out the stem

                2. ipsedixit Feb 6, 2009 06:44 AM

                  I think if it isn't an issue of taste or texture (i.e. like your button mushroom example) it may be an issue of cosmetic presentation. The dish may just LOOK better with de-stemmed mushrooms.

                  Also, another factor is cooking time. Because the stems can sometimes be denser than the the cap, removing the stems prevents overcooking of the mushroom caps.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Kelli2006 Feb 6, 2009 06:55 AM

                    I usually discard the bottom-most slice of the stem because of the dirt, and slice the remainder crosswise and throw them into the dish.

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