HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jul 7, 2011 04:19 PM

When Mushrooms Go Bad

OK, we all been there, with that box of mushrooms in the frig too long. So if they are brown and slimy, don't use them. If they are white and firm, no problem. But there is that in-between stage....How do you decide when they are too bad?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. the nose knows..........any manure-y whiff and they're gone. If they have been in the fridge for a long time, but still seem OK (a week to ten days) then I'll usually cook them into something as opposed to using them fresh in salads.

    ps Anthony Bourdain's mushroom soup on epicurious is the Bomb. So simple. So perfect.

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean by that "inbetween stage". In fact, I have a package that most likely will be reaching that stage in a day or two - lol!!

      What I do is slice & saute them up in some butter (sometimes adding some minced onion or shallots), & add a dash or two of dry sherry. Then I serve them over sauteed or baked chicken or turkey cutlets, or use them as an omelet filling. I haven't tried freezing them yet, but that might be an option as well, even if you just end up adding them to soup or stock or gravy.

      1. Getting dry and woody? No good. Slimy? No good. A little brownish or spotty? Good to cook but raw-no good. Stinky? No good.

        8 Replies
        1. re: LorenM

          Actually LorenM, "dry and woody" isn't bad at all. It's not much different from pricey dried mushrooms at the market. Easily saved & best tossed into sauces, stock, etc., etc.

          1. re: Breezychow

            Dried properly? Good. Dried by stale refrigerator air? Odor sponge. No good- from experience. Why am I writing this way in this thread? Don't know!

            1. re: LorenM

              Thanks for your answer. ..it sure helped me

              1. re: LorenM

                Do I appreciate your style? Yes I do. Do I agree fancy dried mushrooms aren't the same as mushrooms I forgot in the back of the fridge? Absolutely.

              2. re: Breezychow

                I agree with Breezy. The key is to mix them into something that /covers/ the stale refrigerator air-ness while letting their mushroomy-ness come through. Got that LorenM? Good.

                Lord knows with the cost of food these days (different thread), you hate to throw anything out.

                1. re: pdxgastro

                  To each their own, I guess. Dry, wrinkly, "fresh", fridge- dried mushrooms get tossed out of my fridge, if they make it it that long. Not on such a tight budget to eat spoiled food but then again I usually don't keep a bunch of veggies (fungi) around I don't plan on using really soon either.

                2. re: Breezychow

                  Thanks..i was cleaning out the frig and came across my semi, ,dried out mushrooms..still look usable, but, wasn't sure.

                3. re: LorenM

                  I was in the emergency room this morning from 12:30 to 5 am from eating mushrooms lastnight that were about a week old. We made a stir fry with them and by midnight I felt like I was in labor times 10, with vomiting, diarrhea,and fainting spells. Never again will I use them after day one or two.

                4. so i'm gonna use them. i know i'm pushing my luck but have my heart set on stroganoff and am willing to risk it. wish me luck

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pppatticakes

                    My heart wouldnt be remaining set if I knew dinner was going to inlcude brown slimy mushrooms.

                    I do, indeed, wish you luck.

                    1. re: Harters

                      I keep a close eye on the 'discounted veg' stand. Many times there are mushrooms at half price. White and brown 'buttons'. I'll buy a bunch and sort out any with obvious problems. I NEVER wash them. Just a light brush with a paper towel. Rough chop then into the food dehydrator. When they are like little bits of shoe leather I rough chop them in the food processor. Then I give the bags to some families I know will use them.
                      We pick enough chanterelles/lobsters/hen of the woods and dry them to last us until the next mushroom season.

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        Oh dear Puffin3...you make that sound like you wouldn't use the product yourself, but pass it off to unsuspecting victims of your charity! My recent rescue of some mildly questionable green beans and enoki mushrooms involved blanching the green beans for three minutes with a garlic clove in the water then "shocking" them in cold water, rinsing the enoki in hot/cold, then a boiling water blanch/cold shock, then all drained and tossed into a dressing/marinade of strong soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, a touch of Wasabi paste, and a little sugar, marinating for twenty minutes. Not bad at all. I resort to this kind of thing when I've bachelored myself into a corner with virtually nothing else in the house to eat, and no energy to go shopping. I would point out, though, that I do eat what I prepare, all risks are my own!

                        1. re: jbrcoll

                          Don't worry pal. I eat everything I give to my "charity" also.
                          I have the time to watch for good bargains and I have the desire to help out when and where I can.
                          All mushrooms bruise easily. The white button mushrooms on sale at half price are perfectly fine. They are just bruised so they don't look so good. Any produce at my local grocery store that really is 'off' is never offered for sale.
                          I bought a big bag of twenty four green bell peppers lately and only one had a little soft spot. The rest where just looking a bit old.
                          Your green bean/enoki dish sounds delicious. Would 'light' soy sauce work instead?

                  2. Mine are getting brown and wet but not slimming. If I blot up the brown liquid can I still use them?