Love mushrooms? There are so many different ways of preparing this sumptuous fungus, and one of the basic ways of preparing it is to sauté it. Read on for the easy instructions on sautéing mushrooms:
- Know what sautéing means. Sautéing is one of the easiest, speediest methods for cooking. It involves cooking food in oil (or a type of fat, such as butter or margarine) very quickly at medium to high heat, while briskly flipping and stirring the food around the pan. The difference between frying and sautéing is that the former uses a larger amount of oil or fat than the latter (which uses only about two to three tablespoons of oil or fat).
- Prepare the mushrooms. First, you’d have to dust away any trace of dirt on the mushrooms by brushing them off with a clean cooking brush. Avoid washing the mushrooms before sautéing them, as this may cause the mushroom’s edges to become soggy. If you picked the mushrooms in the wild, however, it may be necessary to rinse them with water, but do make sure that you pat them dry with cloth or tissue.
- Chop the mushrooms. You could remove the stems and chop the mushrooms in half, depending on your preferences. Do know that mushrooms will contract down to half their size after they’ve been cooked, so it might not be a good idea to chop them too small. A recommended thickness is about 1/8 inch.
- Prepare the oil. Put two to three tablespoons oil onto the pan. Make sure that you use heat-stable oil, or one that is appropriate for use for sautéing. For example, extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point – meaning that it can burn more easily when used in high-temp cooking – and so though it is great as a salad dressing it may not be that recommended for sautéing. A good, healthy oil to use is olive oil (not extra virgin) and canola oil.
- After you’ve placed the oil in the pan, wait for about a minute or two for it to heat up. Remember this, as this is an important step in the sautéing process; if you place the mushrooms in the pan and the oil is not adequately heated up, the mushrooms will tend to stick to the pan – very messy.
- Place the mushrooms in the pan. After the oil has heated up, reduce the heat to medium-high, so that the mushrooms won’t burn. Carefully place the mushrooms in the pan. Use a spatula to briskly toss and move around the mushrooms throughout the entire cooking process. Make sure that the mushrooms become evenly coated with the cooking oil; you should also be able to hear them sizzling quietly. Once you’ve been sautéing the mushrooms for awhile, you will be able to observe a sheen of moisture at the bottom of the cooking pan and on the mushroom’s surfaces. This is good – that means the liquid they contain are being released and they are on their way to being cooked. If you can’t see this sheen, you should add a pinch of salt to facilitate the process.
- Know when the mushrooms are ready. The general guideline is that, for 10 ounces of mushrooms, about 10 minutes cooking time is required. Mushrooms that are sufficiently cooked are reddish-brown and golden.
- Know of other tips. Avoid overcrowding your pan with too many mushrooms, as this might cause them to turn out soggy. You could add in some herbs towards the end of the cooking process for more flavor and variety.
There you have it! These are some easy tips to remember when sautéing mushrooms. Enjoy!