Cooking perfect mushrooms every time isn’t difficult – use these tips to cook perfect golden mushrooms without any fuss.
There are three things I don’t eat: celery, honey, and mushrooms. Well, that’s not entirely true. I don’t eat other things like tripe or chicken feet or beef tartar, but those aren’t very common. As for the common foods that everyone seems to consume but I don’t – it’s those three mentioned above. For years I couldn’t stand the smell of honey, taste of celery, and texture of mushrooms. But as it turned out, tastes change and I am opening up to mushrooms. In fact, I’ve been buying them semi-regularly at Costco. They sell big containers of organic sliced mushrooms for under 6$ – I like the convenience of not needing to wash and chop them and the price is the same as if I bought whole mushrooms.
There are tons of classic mushroom recipes but I decided to start learning and appreciating mushrooms with something simple: sautéd mushrooms. I began pan frying mushrooms in a big skillet, painstakingly stirring them with a spatula, reducing the heat as they started to brown, adding very little oil. In the middle of it all, the pan would be filled with bunch of liquid from the mushrooms and they’d be steaming and boiling instead of sautéing. I did it again and again thinking that this is just how mushrooms are – they have lots of liquid inside and that’s the way to cook them. That is until I came across an article on Food52 explaining how to cook mushrooms in a different way. Unfortunately I did not save the link to that page and I couldn’t find it again, so if anyone has a link, I’ll be really grateful as I’d like to link to it here. That article changed how I cook mushrooms now – there’s no dreaded steaming, there’s not even stirring. It’s just cooking! Mushrooms come out perfectly brown and cooked – no chewy texture, no bland flavour!
These Perfect Mushrooms are great with steak, amazing to add to warm winter salads, delicious addition to pasta and omelettes. Whenever I buy that big container of mushrooms at Costco, I cook them this way and if we don’t eat them right away, I store them in the fridge for a few days and add to various recipes.
So, how do you cook perfect mushrooms every time? It’s easy! It comes to three things: heat, fat, time. You need high heat; not the highest that would burn everything, but high enough to actually sear the mushrooms and not steam them. I usually use medium or medium-high, but it depends on your stove. Then fat – you do need fat and more of it than you’d normally use if you are like me and always try to reduce the amount of cooking oil or butter. I never measure how much I use, but it should be enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan. I prefer butter or vegan butter, not oil, but oil can also be used. I buy soy butter at Russian stores, it’s really good, tastes delicious and vegan. You’ll need butter (vegan or regular) in the beginning of the cooking process and in the middle – don’t be tempted to skip that step, it really adds flavour! And now the main secret tip: do NOT stir the mushrooms! Add the mushrooms to the pan with melted butter, stir once and then forget about them. Depending on the amount of mushrooms, size of the pan and your stove it could be 5 minutes or it could be 10-15 minutes. Just. Let. Them. Be. Do not stir no matter how tempting it is. You’ll know when to stir – they’ll reduce by half most likely and you’ll see them starting to get golden edges. This is when you add more butter and stir/flip the mushrooms and then let them cook without stirring again. Easy peasy!
If you don’t believe you can do it, check out this video to see how to cook perfect mushrooms every time!
How to cook perfect mushrooms every time
- Wash and dry mushrooms. Mushrooms need to be completely dry. Slice the mushrooms
- Heat enough butter in the pan to cover the bottom.
- Heat the pan to a generous medium to medium-high heat.
- Add the mushrooms to the melted butter, stir and then let the mushrooms cook without stirring.
- Let mushrooms cook without stirring.
- Let mushrooms cook without stirring!!!
- Once mushrooms reduced by almost half and you start to see golden edges and there’s no more steam, no more liquid and they sound and look like they are going to start burning soon, then add more butter and stir/flip the mushrooms.
- Let the mushrooms cook again without stirring. This will take less time than the first part.
- Add salt, pepper in the end.
- Add herbs if using. I prefer lots of fresh dill, but you can add parsley or thyme.