ann's smart school THE BLOG

To Rinse or Not to Rinse Your Mushrooms?

6th January 2019

Mushrooms are food whose behaviour is similar to sponge, if they are thrown into a stir-fry, they would soak up that sauce almost immediately. They behave the same way with water and thus conventional wisdom guard against rinsing mushroom because it will get soggy and waterlogged thereby losing its nutrient and structure.

Kenji Lopez reported that the mushroom he washed and subsequently dried in a salad spinner absorbed only 2 percent of their total weight in water which is enough to ruin a recipe. The authors of cook’s illustrated kitchen smarts book likewise found no discernible difference in texture between mushrooms that had been quickly rinsed and those that has remained dry. They both suggest mushroom should not be rinsed so as to preserve the nutrient content.

Thus, the final word is that rinsing and drying mushroom and then using them quickly probably won’t ruin a recipe, but brushing them off with a cloth without water is enough to clean them.

Lori Harrison, the communications manager for the American Mushroom Institute likewise says the short answer is that you don’t have to and shouldn’t wash mushroom. Most people usually think there is dirt on them, but it’s peat moss and it’s all pasteurized. You’re not eating dirt if it happens to show up in your pan.

The American Mushroom Institute’s official guidance says a quick rinse is okay, but you should never soak them. You should also consider the kind of mushroom you’re working with says “chef Giuseppe” because cultivated mushroom can be cooked raw but wild types may require more cleaning. He likewise says that “you barely need to brush portobello mushroom, but some black-footed mushroom that are wild and grow in a sandy area, this type needs to be washed multiple times to ensure the sand is completely rinsed off and is not grainy”.

But for majority of standard, grocery store-bought portobellos or button or cremini mushroom, just give them a swipe. That’s the advice given by a family-owned mushroom farm in Landenberg, Pennsylvania.

Conclusively, washing mushroom is not ideal rather they should be wiped and cooked appropriately so as to preserve the nutrient and structure.


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