Fresh vs dried mushrooms are the ideal choice for those who like a quick-onset experience with their edibles. They also have the advantage of being shelf-stable, but they come with a shorter life expectancy than their dried counterparts. On the other hand, dried mushrooms have a long shelf-life and are easy to transport, so they can be a good option for those who don’t want to deal with spores and aren’t ready for a full mushroom trip.
Mushrooms are extremely versatile and can be used for a wide variety of recipes. Whether it’s as a garnish for a soup, stew or stir-fry, a savory mushroom stock, or even a meat-free mushroom burger, their umami flavor can be a game changer for your meal.
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Dried mushrooms can be purchased at most grocery stores, and they’re a great option for those who don’t have access to local foraging options. However, they can also be made at home using an oven or a dehydrator.
Once dried, they have a shelf-life of 6 to 12 months and can be stored in a dark, dry place, such as the pantry or a vacuum-sealed mason jar. Selengut advises washing the mushrooms thoroughly before drying to reduce pathogens, as well as storing them in an airtight container.
Once rehydrated, dried mushrooms can add a powerful punch of umami to any dish. “They are a fantastic fast-flavoring ingredient, and you can add a small amount to a dish for some earthy depth or a large handful for a umami blast,” she says. Her favorite application is adding caramelized rehydrated shiitakes to a Vietnamese rice noodle bowl with sauteed leeks, Parmesan and oven-roasted tomatoes.