Mushrooms Most people buy a punnet of mushrooms from their local supermarket and put them straight in one of the crisper boxes at the bottom of their fridge. But actually, this is the worst place because there is less air circulation so any moisture is just trapped. And this is why after a few days your mushrooms are wet and starting to go bad. Forget all the nonsense about brown paper bags…… So here is what you do…… Before touching any food stuffs, wash your hands well using antibacterial soap making sure your hands are scrupulously clean and dry. Clean hands will increase the shelf life of all fresh foods. Remove the cellophane and check there are no wet mushrooms at the bottom of the punnet.
If there is any condensation underneath the cellophane then remove all the mushroom onto a clean dry surface, line the punnet with a sheet of paper towel and then gently put back the mushrooms. Now store them in the fridge but not in the crisper /salad box, instead place them on the shelf just above leaving them uncovered so they stay dry (see photo below).
After some days they will start to dehydrate and go wrinkly but that is fine, its just extending the shelflife. If you did place a sheet of papertowel in the punnet change it if it is wet.
Most wild mushrooms particularly Oyster and Enoki mushrooms absorb moisture quicker than ordinary button mushrooms so be sure to inspect them carefully before you buy. When you get them home (if you are not intending to use them that day) remove the cellophane and after checking them out definitely line the punnet with paper towel and place the Oyster mushrooms fin side down on the towel and replace the towel if it gets wet. If your Enoki (straw) mushrooms are starting to get wet you can also trim off 2cm (1 inch) off the bottom (the root part that holds the mushrooms together) to seperate the mushrooms and put them on dry paper towel.
Don’t throw mushroom stems away,they are edible use them. Even woody ones you find on shiitake mushrooms can be used to flavour stocks.
I usually use one box for the vegetables and the other for the salad, fruit and herbs so the light items are not being squashed by the heavy items. I usually line each crisper box with 2 sheets of paper towel to make sure the box stays dry.
If you notice a lot of moisture in the bag when you buy vegetables then open the bag and dry them on paper towel before putting them into the crisper box. For more fridge tips keep watching this space!
2 thoughts on “Tip of the Week How to store mushrooms”
In Japan, we get an enormous type of mushrooms including wild mushrooms. ‘Freezing’ the mushrooms is one way not just to store but to obtain a deep aroma and taste out of the mushrooms especially shitake, enokidake, bunashimeji, shimeji, etc…etc. Shitake mushrooms serve as a broth for a lot of the Japanese food.
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Thanks again for sharing, I know and love Shitake but would love to learn more about other mushrooms grown in Japan.