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How to Clean Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that can be prepared by a variety of cooking methods. You can fry, saute, roast, or add them to soups. But of course, before you get started on cooking, you should know how to properly clean oyster mushrooms. 

Aside from being an amazing ingredient on their own, oyster mushrooms are also gaining popularity as a meat substitute for all kinds of recipes. It’s not surprising that many people are now trying to add this healthy and tasty ingredient to their diets.

If you are one of them, it’s also important that you learn how to clean oyster mushrooms. This process is so simple, you can learn to do it in a few simple steps. 

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How to cut oyster mushrooms:

The first step in cleaning oyster mushrooms is cutting them. Oyster mushrooms come in clusters and are attached together by a central or main stem. This stem is tough and needs to be cut off to remove any shreds of wood or straw and dirt (especially if they are wild mushrooms). 

You can discard this stem but you can also save them for making stock for soup. Once you cut the main stem the individual caps will separate. 

Depending on the recipe, you can cut or slice them as you like. However, remember that mushrooms shrink when cooked so you should avoid cutting them too thin. If you’re using small pearl oyster mushrooms, some recipes also suggest just leaving them whole.

Should you wash oysters?

Washing oyster mushrooms with water is not exactly necessary. They grow in the woods on stems so they do not directly get in contact with dirt. In fact, you can easily grow oyster mushrooms at home!

Instead of washing with water, you can clean oyster mushrooms using a mushroom brush, paper towel, or damp cloth. Just lightly brush the surface of the mushrooms to remove loose dirt. 

You also do not have to peel oyster mushrooms because their surface is completely edible. If there is still stuck dirt left after brushing, especially in the bottom stem, you can use a small knife to scrape off the dirt or just cut off the dirty part.

Other than the dirty parts, take note that you also have to trim the parts of your oyster mushrooms that have black spots or are wet, mushy, or slimy. If the mushrooms already have mold, yellow spots/slime, or white fuzz, it is better to discard them and buy fresh ones.

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The Best Tools for Growing, Cleaning, and Cooking Oyster Mushrooms:

Yes. With the right set of tools, you will be able to grow oyster mushrooms at home if you like! These items will be useful throughout the process of growing, cleaning, and cooking oyster mushrooms.

With the following products, you’ll be able to make the most out of your oyster mushrooms and prepare them with only a little muss and fuss. Make sure to add these items to your Amazon shopping cart today!

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How to properly clean and wash:

If there is any still dirt left after brushing or you’re cooking a large batch of oyster mushrooms and you don’t have time to inspect them one by one, washing oyster mushrooms can be an option. 

After trimming the mushrooms, place them on a colander and rinse them under running water briefly and quickly. Oyster mushrooms are porous like sponges, so they absorb liquid fast. If you’re not careful they can end up spongy and water logged.

Soaking the mushrooms will not only lessen the flavor but can also make your dish watery. Plus, if you’re planning to fry them, they won’t be as crispy as you expected them to be. 

How do you clean and dry oyster mushrooms?

After quickly rinsing your oyster mushrooms, one of the best ways to dry them is by putting them in a salad spinner. Once there’s no excess water left, use paper towels to pat them dry. 

As you dry the mushrooms, examine the gills to see if there are insects or dirt left behind. If there are, use a toothpick to pluck them out.

Lay the mushrooms with gills facing down and let them air dry for about 30 minutes. 

Should these be soaked?

There are two common types of oyster mushrooms you can easily find at your grocery store: pearl oyster mushrooms and king oyster mushrooms. Pearl oyster mushrooms are small and almost have no stems. 

King oyster mushrooms, on the other hand, have white thick stems and small brown caps. These stems are known to be soft and savory and have the same taste as abalone and scallops. 

Although king oyster mushrooms are bigger and a little different from other oyster mushrooms, they also do not require soaking. You can simply clean this type of mushroom by following the same instructions listed above.

If you’re planning to rinse your king mushrooms instead of brushing them, proceed with the quick rinse first before cutting them. This will prevent them from absorbing too much water. 

Where can I buy these tasty ingredients fresh?

It’s no secret that mushrooms spoil quickly. If possible, choose mushrooms from a loose bin instead of buying the pre-packaged ones so you can inspect and choose the good quality and freshest mushrooms available. 

Buying fresh or prepackaged, always avoid the slimy, wet, or moist ones because these are the signs that they are already close to spoiling. 

If you can, you can also try growing your own oyster mushrooms at home. There are mushroom growing kits that will allow you to grow and harvest mushrooms in just ten days!

How to store oyster mushrooms:

Only clean and wash oyster mushrooms right before you use them. If you don’t plan to use the mushrooms you’ve bought right away, remove them from the store packaging and put the whole unwashed mushrooms in a brown paper bag. 

A paper bag is a better storage option than a plastic bag since it can absorb excess moisture, allowing the mushrooms to stay fresh for a longer time. Depending on their freshness when you’ve stored them, the oyster mushrooms can stay good in the fridge for five to ten days.

If you want to store oyster mushrooms for a longer time, use a food dehydrator or oven to dry them. Dried mushrooms stored in an airtight container can last up to six months. 

How to cook oyster mushrooms:

There are lots of ways to cook oyster mushrooms. They offer unique textures and flavors that you can enjoy in all kinds of recipes. 

Oyster mushrooms always turn out delicious whether they are sauteed, stir fried, baked, air fried, or used in soups. For creative, fun, tasty, quick, and easy recipe ideas, check out this collection of 25 Recipes for Oyster Mushrooms today!