Mushroom are porous making them highly absorbent to moisture and odor. So, now you know the trick. Simply store your mushroom away from excess moisture to prolong their shelf life and away from strong odors to retain their flavor.
With that in mind, use the simple methods below to keep your mushroom fresh for longer.
Store mushroom in the refrigerator after harvesting to prevent them from growing. However, they will only stay fresh in the fridge for not longer than 7 days. To prolong their shelf life, saute to stop the enzyme action and store them in the freezer for 6-8 months.
Best ways to store mushroom
The secret to keeping mushroom fresh for long is making sure you refrigerate them immediately you bring them home. This is because mushroom continue to grow even after harvesting if left at room temperature for long.
When storing fresh mushroom (raw) put them in a brown paper bag to allow them breath and absorb excess moisture. This is because mushroom have high water content and if exposed to excess moisture they can go soggy very quickly.
If you feel the need to clean mushroom before refrigerating, use a soft brush to brush off the dirt. Cleaning mushroom with water before storage shortens their shelf life.
Store mushroom away from foods with strong odour as they absorb any odor around them so easily hence altering their flavor.
Mushroom can stay fresh in the refrigerator for 7 days if properly stored. To achieve this, put whole mushroom in a brown paper bag to allow them breath and absorb any excess moisture which may lead to mold growth. Store the paper bag in the fridge and avoid placing anything on top as it may easily bruise the mushroom.
In the absence of a paper bag, you can store mushroom in a plastic bag with paper towels inside to absorb excess moisture. However, this method can only last for a maximum of 3 days as the mushroom are not able to breath.
To freeze mushroom, you need to saute them first as fresh mushroom don’t freeze well due to high water content in them. Sauteing is simply frying food in a shallow pan using little oil over high heat. Cooking mushroom before freezing helps in two ways; One, It stops the enzyme action hence prolonging its shelf life. Two, it prevents the mushroom from absorbing too much moisture when defrosting.
Here are simple steps on how to prepare your mushroom for freezing:
- Rinse mushroom under running water. Avoid soaking as they easily absorb water
- Pat them dry using a paper towel
- Slice them evenly into your desired size. Preferably not too thick.
- Saute mushroom in live oil with little salt to taste for 7 minutes
- Let them cool completely
- Spread them on a baking tray in a single layer
- Freeze them for 30-40 minutes
- Transfer them in a zip-lock bags
- Seal the bags ensuring to remove any air inside to prevent freezer burns
- Put them in the freezer
Frozen mushroom will retain their quality for up to 6-8 months.
How to select mushroom
The flavor and shelf life of your mushroom will depend so much on its freshness and quality when purchasing. For best results:
- Go for mushroom with firm, smooth caps as bruised ones tend to spoil easily
- Choose the ones with exposed gills
- Choose mushroom with dry surfaces that feel cool to touch
- Go for those that have their stem still attached to the cap
How to tell if mushroom has gone bad
You can simply look, touch to feel or smell to know if your mushroom is still safe to eat. There are simple traits that you can never miss when a mushroom is spoiling.
- It will start to become slimy on the surface
- It will grow molds on the the surface
- It will emit an off smell
- It will become mushy.
Mushroom with above traits should be disposed off right away as they can cause food poisoning.
To minimize food wastage and avoid food poisoning ensure you buy only what you need but in case you find your self with plenty store them correctly to keep them fresh for longer.