Dried porcini mushrooms are great ingredients to have around, but knowing how to buy dry porcini mushrooms can be challenging. What if you could dry them yourself at home easily? Or, what if you could try buying them ready-dried?
The truth is, drying or buying dried mushrooms takes some skills, but it is possible to become an expert with some tips. In the process, you will even learn how to reconstitute them for better use.
Without further ado, here’s what you’re waiting for.
7 tips to get the best dried porcini mushrooms
Tip #1: Clean the stem and cap
The first step to drying porcini mushrooms is cleaning them adequately. You should start by cleaning the stem and cap to remove any dirt, dust, pine needles, etc. However, it is not recommendable that you wash them, or they can get too mushy and slimy.
You can use a mushroom brush and scrubber to carefully clean the cap. Some people even like to peel the top of the cap, which is a bit browner and darker. You can simply peel it back with your fingers, slice the mushroom up, and pull the skin off.
Tip #2: Slice them thinly
You can slice the porcini mushrooms relatively thin, about a half or quarter-inch thick. You should consider that the thinner you slice them, the quicker they dry, but also the easier they are to ground into a powder.
Tip #3: Get your dehydrator ready
If you have a dehydrator at home, lay the slices with enough space between each other. You should set the heat to around 110 degrees F. While the time varies, the total time will usually be between 4 to 6 hours.
Tip #4: Dry mushrooms can be kept for a while
Once your porcini mushrooms are dry, you can store them for a long time. Before storing them, though, allow them to cool down. Once cool, you can store them in a sealed container, a jar, or a Ziploc bag.
For better preservation, keep your dry porcini in a dark, cool place away from the light. Your dry mushrooms should last for at least a year.
Tip #5: Turn your dried porcini mushrooms into a powder
If you want to make your porcini more versatile, turning them into a powder is a great way to do so. You can use any kind of food processor or blender to turn porcini mushrooms into a fine powder that can be added to soups, broth, sauces, and that will result in umami.
Powdered mushrooms can be a very healthy addition to your diet as well. You can steep them in hot water and make a flavorful tea that is also very nutritious. You can check out these benefits of drinking mushroom tea to fully understand the power that porcini mushrooms can have in your life.
Tip #6: Before you use dry mushrooms, you need to reconstitute them
If you are wondering how to reconstitute them, then you came to the right place. Before you use dry porcini, soak them in water, whether hot or cold doesn’t matter. Some people think that soaking dry porcini in cold water is better, as it softens them up, but extracts fewer flavors in the process.
To reconstitute dry mushrooms, soak them in a bowl with enough water to cover all of them. Do this for at least half an hour, so that means you should start this part of the process before you begin cooking.
If in a hurry, you can use hot water for a quick soak and reconstitution. However, this can result in lower quality and texture.
Tip #7: Save the soaking broth
Regardless of what type of water you use, all porcini mushrooms will produce a dark broth. Don’t throw it away, as it is full of nutrients and can be repurposed for other recipes. Some great ideas include an easy mushroom soup or a creamy mushroom sauce over chicken.
You can save the broth for later as well, just make sure you store it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. For longer periods, you can even keep it safe in the freezer. Before adding it to any of your dishes, make sure you strain some of the leftover grit, as it will add bitterness to your meal.
Eat more porcini mushrooms!
Since you already know how to dehydrate porcini mushrooms, you can also save some time buying them. Make sure they are firm and smell good, as this ensures that they taste well in any dish. You can find them online easily, but a health or organic store will have them too.
If you are wondering what to make, try these tasty mushroom bites with bacon and cheese filling for a quick snack and nutritious meal. You can always preserve your fresh mushrooms, make a long-lasting powder, or use dried porcini mushrooms in any dish you want.