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Nov 9, 2011 11:35 AM

Reconstituted dried mushroom - any successes?

Is there any way that I can reconstitute any dried mushroom so that it will not be rubbery?

I cannot even count the ways I've tried - with absolutely no success. I do like the flavor, but if I want to eat a dried mushroom in a soup or any other dish, I have to swallow it whole :-))

Are there any techniques that chowhounds feel they have mastered for this little nugget?

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  1. I use them all the time and I'm not sure I'd call the texture "rubbery." I guess it's a matter of expectation. I think the types they choose for drying are chosen for their firm and chewy substantial texture so this is to be expected.

    I generally use porcini and shiitake and simply throw them into wet dishes like soups and risotto and the like, or rehydrate by pouring hot or boiling water over them and letting them sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, then prep and cook as the recipe indicates in the case of stir frys and the like, making sure to use the hydrating water as it contains a lot of flavor. I like the firm chewiness they provide. You actually don't have to use hot water at all; many people recommend re-hydrating in cold water as more of the flavor is retained in the mushroom and does not leach out into the water, but it takes longer to rehydrate this way.

    Mushrooms tend to get firmer the longer they are cooked and that's what I like about them. I guess if they are hard for you to chew you could just cut them into really small dice.

    Many high-end chefs simply use dried mushroom powder for the flavor alone, or use it for coating things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: acgold7

      Yes, I have used dried porcini, shiitake and other mushrooms thrown ito wet dishes, soups.

      I had never thought about the types that are dried are chosen for their firm and chewy substantial texture.

      When I have eaten 'cup' noodles/ramen, I find them quite offense. I have often wondered perhaps just for an experiment, I should pressure cook a few.

    2. The flavor is the thing with reconstituted dried mushrooms. The texture is something to be hidden. I chop up the reconstituted and saute with fresh mushroom that have been chopped, sliced or sauteed. Then I add the strained reconstituting broth to the mix so as to intensify the flavor. I can't remember the last time that I used reconstituted morels or porcini or whatever without a healthy dose of fresh brown mushrooms to mask the fact that dried has supplied the flavor. Perhaps I am missing something about your question and I am a dolt but in any dish that features seasonal mushrooms I find that you want the fresh mushrooms to carry the perfume of the dried. The dried mushrooms can be featured but only in smallish pieces. Morels work better than some but porcini have to be chopped.


      1 Reply
      1. re: KateBChi

        I agree that the flavor is the thing.
        There is a recipe that I have been thinking about making for Chowhound Cookbook of the Month, The Gourmet Cookbook (Yellow cover). It is a Risotto recipe with Porcini recipe, similar to other recipes I've seen using dried porcinis.

        This recipe does reconstitute them and uses the water, but adds the coarsely chopped ones at the end of of the cooking.

      2. Use the 'freshest' dried mushrooms you can find; this years crop is best. The older they are, the harder to reconstitute.

        1. I'm having the same problem with one variety, "Oyster" dried mushrooms that I bought from My Spice Sage. I soak them then add to a stew and cook for a long time. They don't get close to tender, they remain almost unpleasantly chewy. I don't have this problem with any of the other varieties I have.

          1 Reply
          1. re: zackly

            The stems of rehydrated dried oyster mushrooms are especially tough-pull them off and just use to flavor stock.
            The oyster mushroom caps should be fine like any other rehydrated dried mushroom.