It appears we’ve been cooking mushrooms the wrong way all these years, according to a fine-dining chef turned mushroom scientist.
There are plenty of ‘rules’ about cooking mushrooms that we’ve learned over the years. One is that the mushrooms should never touch water, they should be brushed and cleaned dry before being sautéed in butter.
But that could all be out the window now, thanks to Jim Fuller, a Texan chef now living in Victoria, Australia, who shared a video online explaining why boiling mushrooms is the correct way to cook them.
Fuller should know. He’s a chef who has worked as a mycologist for the last 12 years, and spent years researching the very best way to cook mushrooms to optimise flavour and nutrition.
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Boil the mushrooms first. This statement created a bit of controversy when I told @lfizzlphillips the best way to cook mushrooms was to start off boiling them until they are perfectly cooked on this morning's @channel9 @thetodayshow weather. Here's the response video with a better, longer explainer why you would do such a wonderfully crazy thing when you've always been told not to wash and "NEVER LET THE MUSHROOM TOUCH THE WATER BEFORE COOKING" The basic method: You can do this all entirely on a high flame First, boil to perfection- you can keep adding water until this is achieved. Remember you can't over boil a mushroom because of their unique cellular structure. They will let their own water out so don't put too much water at once. When perfectly tender, let the water evaporate until the pan is basically dry Then add oil or fat and your aromatic stuff Quick saute or stir fry and season to taste with salt Thanks @natalie.ngyn and @fablefoodco Edit: some people have been asking me what mushrooms in cooking there. You can see some saffron milk caps and some wood blewits in the wok (yes I love to cook mushrooms in woks) and I am cutting up a slippery Jack that I have already peeled the slippery skin from the cap.
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Any kind of mushrooms can be cooked using the Fuller method for a "delicious, earthy, meaty" flavour. Mushrooms are boiled to the right consistency, then olive oil is added.
"First, boil to perfection - you can keep adding water as you go until this is achieved. What's happening there is that the water from the mushroom is being cooked out of the mushroom," he explained.
"It's just like cooking pasta until it's al dente. You see if [the mushrooms] have a good bite to it. If it’s got too much of a chew, then put in some water and cook it for a little bit longer.
"Remember you can't over-boil a mushroom because of their unique cellular structure. They will let their own water out so don't put too much water at once."
The mushrooms are boiled in a little water, which is evaporated off.
"When perfectly tender, let the water evaporate until the pan is basically dry... once the water is all dry and sizzling, add some olive oil," he said.
Finally, he adds aromatic ingredients such as shallots and garlic.
"I'm frying and cooking the outside of the mushrooms... They're all intact, they're not going to go mush," he said.
Fuller continues frying for another 30 seconds to one minute, before seasoning with a pinch of salt.
"Quick sauté or stir fry and season to taste with salt," he said.