All About Dried Mushrooms
Flavor is what counts and this is what you get from the dried mushrooms and their liquid essence. After soaking, dried mushrooms produce an essence with an intense flavor. If using the mushrooms in a sauce or soup, soak them in a small amount of the water, stock or broth you plan to use in preparing the dish. The soaking liquid may also be used in cooking to increase the mushroom flavor. This is especially true with porcini mushrooms. The liquid can be reduced or simply added to soups, stews, pasta sauces and other sauces.
Why are they so expensive? It takes one hundred pounds of fresh mushrooms to yield ten pounds of dried. Fresh mushrooms are 90 percent water.
To store dried mushrooms we recommend freezing. Heat and moisture are the greatest enemies. Store them in a freezer bag in the freezer. Another method is to store them in a dark, cool place either in a plastic or glass container with a tight fitting lid.
To reconstitute dried mushrooms soak them in warm water, wine or stock for about 20 minutes then filter the liquid. Use either a coffee filter (we prefer the natural filters) or paper towels. Quickly wash the mushrooms (ours are so clean than little washing is necessary). Chop the mushrooms or leave them as they are. They can then be used just like fresh ones.