7 Tips To Properly Clean Mushrooms Before Cooking
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Cleaning mushrooms before cooking is an important step to ensure they are safe to eat and will taste their best. Start by selecting fresh mushrooms without any slimy spots or bruising. Button, cremini, portobello, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, morel, and porcini are common varieties that work well in most recipes. Carefully trim the very end of the stem by grasping it between your fingers and snapping it off; don't cut with a knife which can bruise the delicate mushroom. Use a soft pastry brush, towel, or paper towel to gently brush off any dirt or debris clinging to the mushroom cap and stems. Take care not to scrub too hard or wash with water which can cause the mushrooms to absorb excess moisture and become soggy. 

Mushrooms are tasty to eat but cleaning them can be a bit tricky since they grow in dirt.  Proper cleaning helps highlight the delicious umami flavour of mushrooms and prevents any off tastes or textures. Enjoy their rich, earthy nature brightened by herbs, garlic, shallots, or a quick sauté in olive oil or butter. 

Mushrooms are a nutritional and versatile food with many health benefits. They are low in calories and fat but high in fibre, protein, and important micronutrients. As per the National Library of Medicine, mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. They also provide minerals like potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and copper. The fibre in mushrooms can support healthy digestion and make you feel full. Some types of mushrooms contain antioxidants that help protect cells from damage. Eating mushrooms may strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels. Mushrooms have been shown to benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.  

Taking the time to properly clean mushrooms will give you the best flavour and texture for your recipes. 

7 Tips To Properly Clean Mushrooms Before Cooking 

Chop And Wash

Rinse mushrooms under cold water to remove any dirt. Then, chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces. This makes them easier to clean thoroughly. Wash the chopped mushrooms again to remove any remaining dirt. Finally, boil the cleaned, chopped mushrooms. 

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Pat Dry

Washing mushrooms with a wet cloth or tissue is a good way to clean them. Gently rub the cap and stem with the damp cloth to lift off any dirt or debris. Make sure to wipe all surfaces of the mushroom. The cloth will remove most of the soil and grit without making the mushrooms soggy. After wiping them down, give the mushrooms a quick rinse under cool water to wash away any remaining dirt. Then pat them dry with some paper towels and they'll be ready for cooking. 

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Cut Out The Mold

Even after washing, mushrooms can sometimes still have spots of dirt or mold. This is because the spots and mold can get stuck in the small crevices on the mushroom's surface. The best thing to do is carefully trim away the dirty or moldy parts with a knife. Make small, precise cuts to remove only the affected areas. Avoid cutting off big chunks of the mushroom. Just remove the minimum amount needed to get rid of the dirt or mold. 

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Flour Method

Cleaning mushrooms is easy and works really well. First, place the mushrooms in a bowl and sprinkle flour over them. Gently rub the mushrooms between your fingers and the flour will absorb any dirt. This helps clean them. Then move the mushrooms to a separate bowl filled with water. Rub the mushrooms again under the water - this further removes any remaining dirt or grit. Finally, rinse the mushrooms thoroughly under running water. The flour helps lift off dirt, and rubbing while in water scrubs the mushrooms clean. 

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Remove The Skin

Using a sharp knife, carefully peel off the skin from the top of each mushroom cap. The skin can be slippery, so go slowly. Removing the skin helps remove any dirt and also improves the texture. The stems can be snapped off too if desired - some people prefer mushrooms without the stems. Breaking off the stems is easy - simply grasp the stem and bend it backwards until it snaps. Then discard the stem. With the skin peeled off and the stems removed, the mushrooms are prepped and ready to be cooked. 

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Bowl Method  

To clean mushrooms, first get a big bowl and fill it with water. Put the mushrooms in the bowl of water and gently move them around for about 1 minute. This will let any dirt on the mushrooms fall off and sink to the bottom of the bowl. 

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Take the mushrooms back out of the water and pat them dry with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. 

Strainer Method  

First, put the mushrooms in a colander. This is a bowl with holes that will let the water drain out. Then take the colander to the sink and turn on the faucet. Use your hand or a sprayer to rinse the mushrooms with water. 

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The water will flow through the holes in the colander, carrying away any dirt on the mushrooms. Gently move the mushrooms around to expose all sides to the water. Rinse until the mushrooms look clean.