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How To Clean, Prep and Cook Morel Mushrooms

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How To Clean, Prep and Cook Morel Mushrooms

Their unique cone-like shape and nutty flavor make morel mushrooms a wonderful ingredient to add oomph to your meals. This wild mushroom is a delicacy only available in the spring but you can find dried morels all year long.  They are delicious and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

So how do you cook morel mushrooms? Below you'll find some tips and tricks to help you with that endeavor. But first, a few tips on how to clean and prepare morel mushrooms for cooking.

How To Clean and Prepare Morel Mushrooms

When you bring them home you’ll want to inspect the morel mushrooms for worms and bugs. Use a vegetable brush to clean off any dirt and grime. Slicing the morel mushrooms in half will help you inspect them for bugs.

Fresh morel mushrooms may be soaked in salt water for an hour  to help get rid of bugs. Afterwards, they should be patted ry.

To reconstitute dried morel mushrooms: place mushrooms in a bowl and cover with warm water. You don't want to drown them in water, simply add enough water to cover the mushrooms. This will help them hydrate easily. The time it takes the mushrooms to soften will depend on their size and age.

How To Cook Morel Mushrooms: Tips for a Good Sauté

Before sautéing morel mushrooms it’s a nice idea to slice them in half so diners can appreciate their hollow interior. Here’s are the steps to follow:

Dry off the mushrooms and coat the bottom of a pan with the oil of your choice (coconut oil is a good option). When the oil is hot drop in the mushrooms in batches. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan so you don't end up with watery mushrooms.

Once the morel mushrooms are perfectly seared add a pat of the butter to the pan and mix well. You could finish them off with chopped fresh herbs or a splash of lemon, apple cider vinegar or wine.

image via Black Girl Chef Whites

Here is a great recipe for ribeye steak and morel mushrooms in red wine sauce.

How To Cook Morel Mushrooms: A Tasty Stuffing

Just like button mushrooms or porcinis, morel mushrooms can be diced and added to just about any filling or stuffing.

In this wonderful Vietnamese recipe morel mushrooms are mixed with carrots, bean sprouts, chicken, pork and rice noodles to make a savory stuffing for pan-fried squid.

Find the recipe here.

How To Cook Morel Mushrooms: Tips for Frying

Morel mushrooms may be left whole when frying. This helps the breading stick to them and results in gorgeous golden cones of flavor.

To fry morel mushrooms:

-wash the mushrooms and pat them dry
-add them to a bowl of beaten eggs
-allow excess egg to drip off and drop into a bowl of seasoned breadcrumbs (ground nuts would also be a nice substitute)
-tap to remove excess breading
-fry until golden
-set on paper towels and sprinkle with a touch of salt

Another great read: The Zen Art of Going Mushrooming

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