Dried Mushrooms Vs. Fresh

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by zossolifer, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. zossolifer

    zossolifer

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    Hey all,
    Other than the benefit of being able to use out of season mushrooms by purchasing dried, and quite possibly saving money on dried vs. fresh, is there any advantage of using dried mushrooms over fresh mushrooms when it comes to flavor?
    Let me reiterate.
    Are fresh mushrooms worth the cost over dried when it comes to flavor. I believe this to be the case, but would benefit from the opinions of my fellow chefs and cooks. Thank you
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Mushrooms are a fungus.

    Funguses are usually 90% water if not more.

    Anything dried is usually 12-15% water content, be it beans, raisins, or ‘shrooms.

    Water has no flavour.

    Reconstituted ‘shrooms are only 50-70% water

    Ergo, reconstituted ‘shrooms have more flavour.
     
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  3. chefross

    chefross

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    The only drawback to using dried mushrooms, IMO is that they can be tough and chewy, even after soaking.
    It depends on the mushroom though too.
    As for flavor, I'm with foodpump.
     
  4. zossolifer

    zossolifer

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    This honestly helps a lot. I’m excited to reconstitute those bad boys and see how the dish tastes compared to fresh. Thanks!
     
  5. Chef Navy

    Chef Navy

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  6. Chef Navy

    Chef Navy

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    Dried mushrooms flavor way more defined. Use fresh mushrooms in pasta dishes.
     
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  7. mike9

    mike9

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    I like dried mushrooms for long, slow cooking. Joints like venison, rabbit, pork shoulder, any shank come to mind. A ragout of rabbit with dried morels it a thing of beauty. That said for a quicker cooking schedule I will use the liquid from dried mushrooms (sometimes you have to sacrifice) combined with fresh.

    I reconstitute in anything from water to stock and wine depending on the dish.
     
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  8. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I really like dried mushrooms in long, slow cooks also. I find they work really well, in cold weather type braises. I also do an Italian Sausage & Mushroom Ragu that I serve over pasta, in wintertime. I've made it with fresh mushrooms, but find I don't get the depth of flavor I do with the dried. I also use some of the rehydrating water in the dish. Be careful using the water though, pour off only the top bit, after letting everything else settle and strain it through cheesecloth or you can end up with a gritty sauce. I don't use them often but dried mushrooms can really make a dish, if used in the right application.
     
  9. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Hi zossolifer!

    Choosing a variety of mushroom and whether to use a fresh or dried version comes down to your experience in how they taste. All the answers from the folks here are based on their experience, now it is up to you to think it through and make your choices!

    You have struck the core of cooking!

    How do I use this ingredient to full advantage! To your advantage!

    Every ingredient has its pros and cons and your job is to utilize products to your advantage.

    Since your question focused on flavor, think of the drying process for mushrooms as removing excess water. Same process as a reduction, to concentrate flavors, get rid of water. Use a stick blender to create dried mushroom powder. So you could add mushroom flavor, without adding water or volume. like in a ravioli item where space inside those pillows is limited. Compound mushroom butter to top a steak, sprinkle the powder on the steak after cooking, Savory mushroom muffins or bread/rolls, etc.

    Fresh mushrooms can be served raw or cooked but add bulk and visual appeal. When you think about making something, and want mushroom flavor, make the choice that YOU think will best complete your vision of what ends up on the plate!

    Good Luck and have fun!