Mushrooms come in all shades, from the beautiful and edible types to the odd-looking and poisonous…
Can you imagine a world without fresh mushrooms? Well, thankfully, you don’t have to. From gourmet black truffles to elegant morels, they’re one of those ingredients that go with just about any meal under the sun. Seriously, you couldn’t go wrong with them, even if you tried!
Perhaps one of the most endearing qualities of mushrooms is how healthy they are. They are chock-full of vitamins like B1, B2, B12, C, D, and E, protein and amino acids, trace minerals, and antioxidants. They are also a rich source of dietary fiber, and the fact that they are low in calories and fat makes them the perfect meat complement to any meal.
To reap all these benefits, you need to cook mushrooms the right way to preserve all their vital nutrients and their powerful antioxidant properties. There’s no better way to do this than by sautéing them.
There’s something about this cooking technique that makes mushroom flavors come alive. It’s the secret to bringing out that umami flavor that we love and crave.
Here’s a great sautéed mushrooms recipe, and below it you will find some pro tips for sauteing mushrooms that you can apply to get the best results every time.
Classic Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe
|8 mins||15 mins||
- 1 lb. fresh mushrooms – washed, dried, and sliced
- 3 tablespoons lard, bacon, or duck fat
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic – minced
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet or stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat before adding the lard, bacon, or duck fat.
- Once the fat heats up, add 2 tablespoons of butter and let it cook until it forms white foam.
- Add the garlic and cook until golden.
- Add the mushrooms and let them cook for three to five minutes without stirring, until all the liquid they release evaporates.
- Resist the urge to stir.
- Once the mushrooms are lightly browned, and there’s no more liquid in the large skillet, add the rest of the butter and give them a good toss.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let them cook undisturbed for a further three minutes.
- Add the sherry wine, teriyaki sauce, kosher salt, and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the contents simmer for four minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add thyme and chopped parsley, and serve!
How to Sauté Mushrooms Properly Like a Pro
Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to replicate the mouth-watering meals you have in high-end restaurants? Aside, of course, from the many years that top chefs spend refining their craft, and the fact that they went to culinary school, seriously – how hard can it be to recreate a delicious plate of grilled salmon, or ribeye steak served with a side of sautéed mushrooms?
As it turns out, it can be pretty hard to sauté mushrooms properly if you don’t use the right techniques. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to create the perfect sautéed mushrooms that will rival any of the ones served-up in top restaurants across the world.
Here are five top tips that the pros use.
Pro Tip #1: Use High Heat Throughout
If you’re like most home cooks, then you’re probably freaked out by the idea of cranking up the stove to the max, especially if you’re not boiling or frying something.
Not to bury the lead, but they’re called “sautéed mushrooms” for a reason. Otherwise, they’d be “simmered” or “steamed” mushrooms. By the very definition of the word, sautéing means cooking fast over high heat.
The “high heat” is the secret to any successful sautéed mushrooms recipe that you attempt. So, whether you’re looking to sauté porcini, chicken of the woods mushrooms, chanterelles, or the simple white button mushroom, you need to do it over searing high heat.
Mushrooms have high moisture content. So, using high heat from the get-go and throughout the process encourages this moisture to evaporate quickly. If the heat is too low, your mushrooms will end up steaming or boiling in their own liquids, which, in turn, waters-down their flavor and prevents them from browning – which is what brings out their characteristic umami flavor.
Pro Tip #2: Use “Wild” Mushrooms for the Best Results
“Wild” here doesn’t have to mean mushrooms that you have hunted down in the woods, although this sauté tip works great with foraged mushrooms. In this case, “wild” is more about the specific variety. Dried shiitakes, for instance, are classified as wild mushrooms, even though most of them are now cultivated.
White mushrooms, on the other hand, aren’t considered “wild.” So, to get the best results in your sautéed mushrooms recipe, try using some wild mushrooms like morels, chanterelles, and shiitakes, since they don’t have quite as much moisture as the other non-wild varieties.
Pro Tip #3: Cook Small Batches at a Time
Whatever you do, don’t crowd too many mushrooms in the pan! That’s a classic rookie mistake. They’ll end up releasing water at a faster rate than it can evaporate. So, if you have a large batch of mushrooms to sauté, cook them in phases to allow them to remain as dry as they can so that they can brown in the pan.
Pro Tip #4: Build on Flavor
Here is a crucial pro tip that many home cooks aren’t aware of. Try sautéing your mushrooms in the fat rendered from pancetta and bacon. You’ll be amazed at the depth of taste that these different fats add to your mushrooms. You could also use lard or duck fat and throw in some fresh herbs, some shallots, and minced garlic while you’re at it. Never forget the minced garlic!
Butter also works, but it tends to burn at high temperatures so, it’s better to stick to more heat-tolerant fats when sautéing and add in the butter later in the cooking process.
Also, once the mushrooms have cooked, don’t forget to deglaze the pan with some sherry or any other good quality cooking wine, cream, or stock to mop up all that delicious mushroom goodness clinging to the pan.
Pro Tip #5: Resist the Urge to Stir
Once you add your mushrooms to a searing hot cast iron skillet with fat, you need to fight the urge to stir them. Just throw them in and let them be. Don’t worry – they won’t burn.
You need to give them time to release their juices and for these liquids to evaporate. It typically takes between three to five minutes – which for perpetual stirrers, is a long time! Once it elapses, give them a gentle toss and leave them, once again, for another three or so minutes. And that’s it!
Enjoy Restaurant-Quality Mushrooms at Home
The classic sauteed mushrooms recipe at the beginning of this article is a foolproof way to add instant pizzazz to any meal you have. The resulting sauteed mushrooms are the quintessential topping for all your favorite steaks, fish, poultry, salad… or any meat or vegan dish you’re having.
Use the pro tips we’ve detailed here to elevate your sautéed mushrooms to a restaurant-quality gourmet meal. Enjoy!
Wondering what to do with your Baby Bellas? Check out our Baby Bella mushroom recipe for stuffed baby mushrooms!