When it comes to vegan cooking skills, learning how to rehydrate dried mushrooms is a must. Mushrooms, after all, have a wonderfully meaty texture that work well in so many plant-based dishes.
It also doesn’t hurt that they have an indefinite shelf-life, as long as they’re stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dark pantry.
Plus, with the right technique, dried mushrooms can be just as good as fresh ones. Once soaked, reconstituted mushrooms can be used in meals like Vegan White Bean Chili or Savory Breakfast Bowls. You can also marinate them in low-sodium soy sauce, maple syrup, and spices to make plant-based bacon, like this Shiitake Mushroom Bacon.
Benefits of Dried Mushrooms
Thanks to dried mushrooms, you’ll be able to use a range of mushrooms all year round. That’s because you won’t have to wait until certain varieties are in season. Additionally, the ingredient makes it easy to use types of mushrooms that aren’t commonly sold at your local big box grocery store. This is especially useful if you want to make a cultural dish, but don’t have access to specialty supermarkets.
You can purchase a variety of mushrooms online. Some of the most common types of mushrooms available through online retailers include:
- Candy cap mushrooms
- Gourmet mixes
What You Need to Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms
- Dried mushrooms. This method is ideal for any type of dried mushrooms, which are often sold in the produce section of the supermarket. We used porcini mushrooms.
- Water. For this purpose, you’ll need room temperature water.
How to Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms
Before starting, rinse your dried mushrooms cool water first. This will help remove dirt and debris. Next, follow the steps below:
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Add room temperature water until all of the mushrooms float to the top.
2. Let sit for 30 minutes to one hour until fully softened. Next, gently rub the mushrooms with your fingers to remove any remaining dirt and debris.
3. Pour the mixture through a strainer. Alternatively, you can scoop out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Your mushrooms are ready to use in your favorite recipes.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Keep the soaking water. After soaking the mushrooms in water, you’ll be left with a savory umami broth. Don’t pour it down the sink! Strain it once more to remove any leftover debris, then use it as you would with any flavorful vegetable broth.
- Rinse the mushrooms once more. To ensure there’s no leftover grit, you can rinse the mushrooms once they have softened. Another option is to wipe them with a paper towel.
- Use warm water. If you’re in a rush, you can use warm for less time. However, keep in mind that this will result in an even stronger broth.
- Adjust the soaking time. The best soaking time for dried mushrooms depends on the type, size, and exact temperature of your water. It might take some experimentation to determine how long you should soak a certain brand or type of dried mushroom. In general, larger mushrooms will need to be soaked for a longer time.
- Vegan Chickpea Omelet — Fill this chickpea flour omelet with meaty mushrooms.
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup — Use the mushrooms as a soup topping.
- Vegan White Bean Chili — Mix mushrooms into veggie chili.
How to Store Dried Mushrooms
Dried mushrooms should be stored in a container that is clean, sealed, and air-tight. So, if possible, avoid opening a bag of dried mushrooms until you’re ready to use them. If you have some leftover, keep them in clean and air-tight jar.
Also, the best place to store dried mushrooms is in a cool, dry place away from light and heat. Avoid storing the ingredient in cabinets near your oven, if possible
Where to Buy Dried Mushrooms
Ready to add dried mushrooms to your pantry? Here some of the best places to buy dried mushrooms online:
You can also find dried mushrooms at specialty health stores and some supermarkets.
How to Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms
- Water room temperature
- Rinse your dried mushrooms cool water. This will help remove dirt and debris.
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Add room temperature water until all of the mushrooms float to the top.
- Let sit for 30 minutes to one hour until fully softened.
- Gently rub the mushrooms with your fingers to remove any remaining dirt and debris.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer. Alternatively, you can scoop out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Your mushrooms are ready to use.
- Strain the soaking water to remove leftover debris, then use it as you would any flavorful broth.
- To ensure there’s no leftover debris, rinse the softened mushrooms once more. You can also wipe them with a paper towel.
- The best soaking time for dried mushrooms depends on the type, size, and exact temperature of your water. It might take some experimentation to determine how long you should soak a certain brand or type of dried mushroom.
- In general, larger mushrooms will need to be soaked for a longer time.