Photography Credit: Elise Bauer
Do you know the easiest way to cook mushrooms?
Here’s a method I’ve been using for years. It’s called “dry sautéing”. You cook sliced mushrooms in a hot pan without adding any fat, liquid, or sauce.
As the mushrooms heat up in the pan, they release their juices and cook in their own liquid.
Towards the end of cooking (after about 5 to 10 minutes), once the mushrooms have released much of their moisture, you can swirl in some butter for added flavor if you want. But the cooking of the mushrooms themselves doesn’t require anything but heat.
Here’s a quick video of the process:
Even if you do add butter in at the end, you’ll need much less than you would have if you started out cooking the mushrooms in butter at the beginning.
This is an excellent way to prepare mushrooms for use in a recipe that already has sufficient fat, but needs cooked mushrooms, like for a stew or casserole.
How to Cook Mushrooms without Fat
Work with fresh mushrooms. Old mushrooms that are a bit dried out won’t have enough moisture for this method.
I find a relatively stick-free pan like cast iron or hard anodized aluminum works well. If you have a non-stick-free pan, you’ll need to stir more frequently to keep the mushrooms from sticking to the pan in the beginning.
- 1/2 to 1 pound of fresh cremini, button, or porcini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Sprinkle of salt (optional)
1 Add mushrooms to a hot pan: Heat a large relatively stick-free skillet on high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir. Lower the heat to medium high.
You can sprinkle the mushrooms with salt at any point during the cooking process.
2 Stir frequently. Once the mushrooms heat up to a certain point, they will start releasing their moisture. Moderate the heat so that the mushrooms are hot enough to release moisture, but not so hot as to get too browned or dry up.
3 When the mushrooms have given up most of their moisture, remove from heat (about 5 to 10 minutes).
Swirl in a little butter for flavor, sprinkle with salt, pepper, or parsley, deglaze the pan with some marsala, or use the cooked mushrooms as part of another recipe.
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