When working with wild mushrooms, foraging, kitchen preparation, and cooking are all equally important aspects of ensuring that you are treating them well, and will get the most out of the mushroom.
So, when you bring a wild mushroom home with you, how do you clean them for storage, and for cooking? Let’s talk about it!
How To Clean Wild Mushrooms
To clean wild mushrooms, you should turn your tap to lukewarm water at a low fold and hold the mushroom under the water, brushing it very gently with a clean brush.
You want to rinse out any dirt from the brush as well.
This will help you to ensure you lift all dirt from the mushroom and also get to minimize the amount of water that the mushroom will soak up.
This is how to clean wild mushrooms. Note that you can get special brushes to do this, but a very soft artist’s brush should work if you haven’t got a specialist one.
Should You Wash Wild Mushrooms?
Every mushroom, wild or not should be washed, and it is just as important to dry them out afterward as well.
Even a cultivated mushroom such as a portobello mushroom or a button mushroom needs to be washed and then cleaned with a dry towel or cloth.
This is to ensure that any excess dirt from their growing patch is wiped away and is not on the mushroom anymore. Wild or cultivated this should always be done.
How Do You Clean Foraged Mushrooms Before Cooking?
Use the practice we mentioned above.
- Wash the mushrooms with cool to lukewarm water at a low flow.
- Put the mushroom beneath the tap, and gently wipe away any remaining dirt.
- Use a delicate, soft brush to wipe away any dirt from the mushroom.
- Keep washing dirt from the brush as you proceed to ensure you remove all the dirt, and that it is properly cleaned.
How To Store Wild Mushrooms
After you have washed your mushrooms, dry them off using a towel or cloth, and place them into an airtight container as quickly as possible. Ziplock bags, or jam jars all work.
For extra surety that they are correctly stored, you could even place them in a ziplock bag, with the air squeezed out, and then place the bag into a sealed jar.
The key to proper storage is to ensure that they are airtight sealed.
How To Preserve Wild Mushrooms For Decoration
There are so many ways you can preserve wild mushrooms, but when you are using them for decoration, such as art, the best way is to dry them. Of course, you could soak them in brine or freeze them, but drying just looks better, period.
Dry them out over parchment, and ensure they are evenly placed, then place them where there is a steady warm air flow for them to dry. They may take a day or so, but this method will produce beautiful dried mushrooms for decoration.
The best thing to do is to break the mushroom into chunks to expose its insides and then remove any large debris.
Fill your sink with cold water, and plunge them into the water, swishing them around a few times.
It depends on the mushroom, a more delicate approach may be needed for some. But the same processes for removing dirt should work for bugs.
You can use a small amount of vinegar in your water, you can also use lemon.
This is best if you want to ensure that the mushrooms do not get over-drunk in water. Flour, lemon (or vinegar), and water works for this.
You should always wash your mushrooms, no matter what you intend to do with them.
Be they for food or decor, always wash them before drying.