01 Aug Shiitake Mushrooms (Storage + Cooking Tips)
Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just prior to using, wipe off any dirt with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not run them directly under water as they will absorb moisture and become soggy.
Shiitakes can be preserved by drying or freezing. To dry, first wipe off any dirt with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Thinly slice mushrooms and arrange in a single layer on a dehydrator tray. Dry for a couple of hours or until completely dry (this will depend on the thickness of the slices and how moist the mushrooms were to begin with). If you do not have a dehydrator, arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and cook at 150 degrees (or your lowest temperature setting) for one hour. Remove from oven, turn over, and blot up any excess moisture with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Cook for another hour and repeat steps as necessary until completely dry. Dried properly, mushrooms will stay good for a year or longer and can be reconstituted with boiling water.
Frozen mushrooms will maintain a better texture if they are first cooked. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel, then cut away the stems and slice to desired size (the stems are often tough but you can reserve them to flavor a soup or stock). Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil, mushrooms, and desired seasonings. Sauté until the mushrooms turn golden and slightly crispy, then remove from heat, allow to cool, and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container. Use frozen mushrooms within two months.