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Old 12-22-2005, 03:50 PM   #1
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Question Cleaning mushrooms

what's the best way for cleaning mushrooms? washing, cleaning with a brush or peeling with a knife? thanks

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Old 12-22-2005, 03:54 PM   #2
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I get paper towel sightly damp and gently rub the mushroom.
You don't want to peel it.. there's too much flavor in the peel
and you don't want to get it very wet.... the mushroom will soak in the water.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:09 PM   #3
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Recent testing by several knowledgable folks has shown that a quick rinse under running water cleans mushrooms without adding appreciable amounts of water. There is no need to peel.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:13 PM   #4
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I'll be so glad when all the chefs resort to the method of actually washing mushrooms - in a sieve, one by one or whatever. It certainly makes me feel better to know they are clean - and not water-logged.
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:46 PM   #5
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Here is what the mushroom folks have to say,

http://www.mushroominfo.com/care/care.html

Hope this helps.
Jim
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Old 12-23-2005, 01:18 AM   #6
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I just run them under water and dry with paper towels.
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Old 12-23-2005, 01:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdswife
I get paper towel sightly damp and gently rub the mushroom.
You don't want to peel it.. there's too much flavor in the peel
and you don't want to get it very wet.... the mushroom will soak in the water.
That's exactly what I do too! I used to have cute mushroom brush that was shaped like a mushroom with bristles on the underside but I passed it along when I moved. Now for bigger mushrooms (like portobellos) that might need more of a scrub I use a very gentle "finger nail cleaning" brush that I picked up for a euro at the hardware store
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Old 12-24-2005, 12:37 PM   #8
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Mushrooms are already about 90% water - so how much more could they absorb from a quick washing? Harold McGee was curious and did an experiment to find out (ref p 182, The Curious Cook) - and Alton Brown took it a little farther and demonstrated it in episode number EA1H22 of Good Eats - Myth Smashers. AB didn't note much difference between 5-minutes vs 30-minutes of soaking. These are Harold's results:

He took some (23) mushrooms (Harold is frugal - so these were probably just common white button mushrooms although he didn't specify) and weighed them (252 grams = 8.889 oz). He then soaked them in water for 5 minutes, blotted off the water on the outside and weighed them again. They now weighed 258 grams (9.10 oz). So, on the average, each mushroom absorbed a whopping 3.75 drops of water!


As a mushroom grows up through the earth - only the top and sides of the cap, and the base of the stem, come in direct contact with the "dirt". The gills on the underside don't. By soaking the mushrooms, some moisture might be absorbed via the stem (depending on how fresh they are - and if you trim the base of the stem off before soaking), and some moisture is probably trapped between the gills via capillary action.

If you are going to eat the mushrooms raw then "maybe" you could taste a difference (bet you couldn't unless the water was really funky) but they would not be waterlogged - but if you're going to cook them it's a moot point since they will release their moisture.
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Old 12-25-2005, 06:04 PM   #9
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I just rub em with a cloth if they need it, usually the ones I get from the store are cleaned already. My dad used to peel them, can't see the point myself! It did keep him occupied though!!!!
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Old 12-25-2005, 06:11 PM   #10
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Alton Brown did a show debunking myths, and mushroom washing was one of them. He weighed mushrooms before and after various methods of washing them. The increase in weight, presumably due to water was very minimal, and he had them submerged in water.
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