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Never Used Dried Mushrooms Before

Do I put these on to soak all day before I leave for work, or wait until I get home and soak them for the 30 minutes the package recommends?

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  1. Probably doesn't matter, but in my experience reconstituting dried mushrooms takes a LOT less than 30 minutes, so I just soak them right before I use them.
    Using hot water, they are fine in 10 minutes...sometimes less than that depending on the type of mushroom and whether they are pre-sliced.

    1. Don't soak them all day, they'll be mush. Thirty minutes is fine.

      1 Reply
      1. Watch out for grit that collects on the bottom, too. The liquid that renders is really delicious and can add flavor, just discard what's left at the bottom.

        5 Replies
        1. re: monavano

          And probably this is a non-food post, but I read that mushrooms fight viruses. We've been eating a LOT of mushrooms, both fresh and dried, this winter, and we haven't had a cold in the house!

          My husband threw them into a stew he put together on a cold day last week, and I nibbled on it for days. Yum.

          1. re: monavano

            I rinse them off before soaking and don't seem to get grit.

            1. re: monavano

              Either pour off the liquid very slowly so that the grit isn't disturbed, or pour it all through a paper coffee filter. You'll be happily surprised at how much more flavorful rehydrated dry mushrooms are than their fresh counterparts.

              1. re: greygarious

                It's counterintuitive, but true. Most supermarkets sell fresh shiitakes, but the dried ones are much better.

                1. re: greygarious

                  I pour mine through a very fine sieve I have. The liquid is fabulous and you don't want to ruin your dish by adding the sandy grit that's in the liquid. Good dried porcini are a great addition to almost anything but a chocolate sundae.

                  I used them tonight in a soup I made at the last minute from some good homemade chicken broth...fidellini (sp?), fregola, sauteed onions and garlic, chopped watercress and chopped up chicken. Really good.

              2. Save the liquids to add to things like veggie or chicken stock.

                1. I cut/dice my dried mushrooms with kitchen sheers before re-hydrating and if they're thick squeeze the excess water out

                  1. I like to rehydrate dried mushrooms in other liquids such as Sherry, stocks, etc. and as mentioned use the resulting liquid for dishes such as risottos.

                    1. yeah, make sure you save the liquid for pasta or risottos, soups, or even probably the thing you're soaking the mushrooms for in the first place. and if they're dried shitakes, you CAN soak them all night without them getting mushy, but its not necessary.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lyntc10

                        Am I wrong in thinking that shitakes are pretty flavorless? I add them to lots of dishes, but mainly for the texture. I almost always use the dried ones.

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          yeah, thinking that would be wrong...dried shitakes are definitely quite flavorful!