Portobello mushrooms are a world-favorite due to their distinctive taste and texture. Several plant-based dishes use Portobello mushrooms as a vegetarian alternative to meat. The good thing about these shrooms is that you don’t need to take extra care of them. Unfortunately, if you bought a large batch, you should consider a more suitable one to keep your mushrooms from becoming slimy and rotten.
Many people ask, can portabella mushrooms be frozen? The answer is yes, but only if you need to. For instance, whole mushrooms have a longer shelf life than chopped ones. Similarly, cooked mushrooms will go bad faster than raw mushrooms. Therefore, I have prepared a tutorial to explain how you store portobello mushrooms.
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Buying Guide to Portobello Mushrooms:
Portobello mushrooms are readily available from your nearest supermarket like Walmart. However, it is not necessary that the shrooms on the shelf are fresh and high-quality. Therefore, it is recommended that you should physically examine each shroom before putting it in your basket. Here are some tips for buying Portobello mushrooms:
Smell: Fresh mushrooms have an earthy, woodsy, and clean smell. The first thing you should do is smell the mushroom. If you pick any musty or moldy odor, the chances are that the mushroom isn’t suitable for you.
Firmness: Fresh mushrooms are firm and don’t have any large cracks on them. If you notice a soggy texture on the shroom, leave it!
Clean hood:Portobello mushrooms are famous for their meat-like texture. Therefore, the hood of the mushroom is clean and uniformly colored. If you notice any bruised or discolored mushroom, it has gone bad.
Gills: The final check for fresh mushrooms is to check their gills. The underside of the hood of the mushroom is called gill. The gill of fresh mushroom is firm and dark brown in color. On the other hand, a bad mushroom’s gill is soggy and black in color.
How to Clean and Prepare the Portobello Mushroom for Freezing?
Portobello mushrooms are strong and have a long shelf life. However, they can easily become slimy and soggy if you don’t clean or prepare them well. Here is how to clean and prep Portobello mushrooms:
Thoroughly wash the mushrooms with cold water and remove any dirt from the gills.
Trim the stems and remove the ends of the stem to take off any remaining roots.
If the mushrooms are bigger than one inch across, you should slice them into halves or quarters.
Avoid plastic wrapping as it can trap the moisture inside and cause bigger problems.
How to Freeze Portobello Mushrooms?
Freezing is probably the best way to store Portobello mushrooms without losing their taste and texture. However, if you are wondering how to freeze mushrooms raw, then it’s not a good idea. Raw mushrooms lose their taste, texture, and color when frozen. The only way of storing Portobello mushrooms is to cook them before freezing.
There are two ways to cook Portobello mushrooms before freezing, i.e., Sauté and steam.
Sauté Portobello Mushrooms:
The first and most effective way to freeze Portobello mushrooms is to sauté for a few minutes before freezing. Cut any mushrooms larger than one inch into half or quarter pieces. Similarly, you can also chop them for easy cooking.
Put a few drops of oil or butter in a non-stick pan and let it heat for one minute. Drop the chopped mushrooms in the preheated pan and cook according to the size and quantity of the mushrooms.
The time required to sauté the different sizes of mushrooms is:
Sliced mushrooms: 3 minutes
Quartered mushrooms: 3.5 minutes
Button mushrooms: 3.5 minutes
Whole mushrooms: 5 minutes
Steam Portobello Mushrooms:
Another way to cook Portobello mushrooms before preserving them is to steam. The steaming process ensures that the mushroom is cooked without the addition of any extra grease.
Wash the mushrooms with cold water.
Chop the mushrooms or just trim off the ends of the stems.
Fill a pot with water and put 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice/ vinegar or citric acid in the water.
Put the mushrooms in the water and let them soak for five minutes.
Take out the shrooms from the water and steam them for the following time depending on the shape and size of the mushrooms:
Sliced mushrooms: 3.5 minutes
Quartered mushrooms: 4 minutes
Button mushrooms: 3 minutes
Whole mushrooms: 5 minutes
Now, you can continue with freezing portabella mushrooms:
Place some paper towels on a plate. Take out the cooked mushrooms from the pot or pan and place them on the paper towel.
Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. This allows the mushrooms to cool down at room temperature and all the extra moisture to be soaked.
Place the mushrooms on a baking dish and ensure that none of the pieces are touching each other.
Put the dish in the freezer for two to three hours.
Take out the baking dish from the freezer and transfer the frozen mushrooms to a plastic bag or an airtight container.
Make sure that you remove all the air from the container before putting it back inside the freezer.
You can use the same process for freezing stuffed mushrooms. Frozen Portobello mushrooms stay good for 2-3 months.
There are three ways to defrost Portobello mushrooms without making them soft and soggy. However, each of the procedures produces slightly different results.
The first method to defrost mushrooms is to place them in a refrigerator.
Take out the mushrooms from the freezer and let them sit in the fridge overnight.
Remove the mushrooms from the fridge and cook like fresh mushrooms.
The second method is to use a microwave. However, this method is not recommended because the microwave makes mushrooms too hot and may even boil them.
The slowest yet most effective way to defrost mushrooms is to thaw them naturally.
Take out the mushrooms from the freezer and place them on a paper towel on a plate.
Let them sit for 1-2 hours to ensure that the mushrooms are defrosted, and the excessive moisture is absorbed by the towel.
Now you can sauté them just like fresh mushrooms.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How to freeze Portobello mushrooms?
Clean and prepare the mushrooms and slice them into smaller pieces. Half-cook the mushrooms for five minutes by sautéing or steam. Finally, place them in an airtight container and freeze them for 2 to 3 hours.
How to freeze fresh baby portobello mushrooms?
Fresh baby Portobello mushrooms are already small in size. Therefore, you don’t need to slice them. Rinse the shrooms with cold water and dry them with a paper towel. Wrap the mushrooms in another paper towel and put them in the freezer.
How to freeze cooked Portobello mushrooms?
Cooked Portobello mushrooms can be frozen by placing them inside a plastic bag or an airtight container. Take out all the air from the container and place it in the freezer.
Portobello mushrooms are the best alternative to organic pork or beef. They have the same taste and texture as meat, and no animals get harmed. You can buy the Portobello mushrooms in larger batches and freeze them for use at a later time.