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How to Sauté Mushrooms Like a Pro

 

If you’ve been to a restaurant and enjoyed delicious, beautifully browned mushrooms, you may wish to recreate the dish at home. But cooking mushrooms can be a little tricky, and they often turn out limp. Armed with your Smart Cooker and a couple of helpful tips, you can sauté your shiitakes to a caramelized perfection.
 
When sautéing shrooms, the main concept to keep in mind is that they act like sponges. Mushrooms expel water when cooked, and also soak up liquids well. To combat this, you’ll need high heat and a large enough pan to provide the mushrooms with space to sweat.

 

5 Steps for Sautéing Mushrooms

1. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of your Smart Cooker. Since sautéing requires extremely hot oil, choose oil or fat that has a high smoke point. Even though you might want to reach for butter, it may not be optimal, as its milk solids can burn. If you still crave a buttery portobello, you can add a tablespoon after cooking for a richer flavor. Select the high heat option in the Sear/Sauté function, and let the oil sizzle.

2. Add the mushrooms, sliced, quartered, or whole, in a single layer. It’s important not to crowd the pan. If the pan is too crammed, you’ll be steaming the shrooms due to the trapped moisture. If you have more mushrooms than will fit in a single layer, incorporate them in batches, waiting for one batch to brown before adding the next.

3. Do not stir the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed until golden brown on one side. This step may take a few minutes for some varieties of mushroom, and you should watch over them to ensure they don’t burn. Once browned on one side, flip the fungi and sauté until tender. 

4. Cook off any excess liquid. Stir the mushrooms occasionally until the water boils away.

5. Season your sautéed mushrooms with a pinch of salt, as it brings out the meaty, umami flavor. You can also add flare with some finely chopped shallots and garlic tossed in about halfway through cooking. For a pop of color and bright flavor, toss in a handful of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or tarragon. Serve up your shrooms as a savory side or use them to top off a succulent strip steak. Enjoy!