Ranveer Brar Shares This Hack To Clean Mushrooms
Image Credit: Ranveer Brar/ Instagram

Ranveer Brar is among the most celebrated Indian chefs. His videos not only narrate the tale of how a dish or an ingredient came into existence but also recommend a few hacks that make cooking seem like an easy task. He always says that cooking is no rocket science, and he stands by it by uploading easy-to-follow recipes on his Instagram handle and YouTube channel.

In the latest post, the chef shared a cool hack to wash mushrooms before cooking them. Mushrooms, unlike many vegetables, grow near the surface of the soil. Therefore, its stem and head often have dirt sticking on them, and you cannot remove them just by washing them. Chef Ranveer Brar’s hack includes adding mushrooms to a large bowl and sprinkling wheat flour (atta) on them.

He said that the texture of atta is coarse, hence, it can help in deep cleaning of the vegetable. After tossing mushrooms in the flour, pick each, and gently rub it to remove any kind of dirt and dust. Once it's done, transfer mushrooms in a strainer, and wash them thoroughly. He added that cleaning mushrooms before cooking is the ideal choice. The vegetable can become soggy if you opt for cleaning after cutting or chopping. 

Here are a few more do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while cleaning and cooking mushrooms.

Do Trim Stems And Cut Even Slices

Cutting the stems of mushrooms is the first step after cleaning because they are broad and thick, making it difficult to cook them. In varieties like shiitake, the stem is woody and cannot be eaten. Once you have removed the stem, cut mushrooms into slices of the same thickness to ensure even cooking. If you are making soup or stew, cut thin slices, but if you are stir-frying vegetables, cut thicker mushrooms.

Don’t Soak Mushrooms

Mushrooms belong to the family of fungi, which flourishes in the damp atmosphere. Hence, you must never soak them in water as a part of the cleaning process. They are porous and can quickly absorb water, making it difficult for you to cook them. Once they turn soggy, they will not only lose their flavour but also their texture. Instead of a crispy stir-fry or curry, you will end up making halwa.

Do Use High Heat

If you are looking to make mushrooms slightly crispy and flavourful, it is always best to cook them on high heat. It caramelises the slices without making them soggy and allows each bite to be flavourful. Moreover, if you cook mushrooms in butter or oil, it will add to their natural umami notes and give them a brown hue. Tossing and turning the slices on high heat in a small amount of fat will help you achieve the best texture.

Don’t Overcrowd The Pan

Mushrooms are not spinach that you can load your pan with and cook. They need space for tossing and turning. Therefore, if you overcrowd the pan, you will end up with a soggy and uncooked batch. If you segregate them into small batches and cook them separately, you will end up with slices boasting brown colour and crispy texture. 

Do Experiment With Varieties

There are a variety of mushrooms available in the market. From button to oyster and shiitake mushrooms, each boasts a different texture and flavour. You can add a variety of them to your recipe to make it more enriching and nutritious. One thing that you must note is to cook mushrooms soon after purchasing them from the market or store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container so that moisture does not ruin the produce.

Don’t Peel Mushrooms

While it is good to remove the stem of a mushroom, you must avoid peeling it because its texture is important. The skin is edible and also rich in flavour and nutrients. While you are sauteing mushrooms, do not add salt too soon into the pan. The skin will absorb it and leech out moisture, which can make the slices soggy. Once the pieces start getting brown, you can sprinkle salt and other seasonings.