The Simple Tip You Can't Forget For Perfectly Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted mushrooms with herbs
Roasted mushrooms with herbs - Rudisill/Getty Images

Roasted mushrooms of any kind are guaranteed to be flavor-packed and versatile. They can be a side dish for a protein like steak or chicken; worked into pasta, risotto, or stir-fry; blended into a soup or mixed into a stew; or even used as an appetizer atop toasted crostini. Their earthy umami quality complements a range of profiles, from garlic and herb to ginger and soy, and when roasted properly, their meaty, slightly crisp, and caramelized texture is a welcome contrast.

While roasting mushrooms is a fairly straightforward culinary undertaking, there is a simple tip that will make a major difference to both your process and your finished product — and will help when wondering how to cook mushrooms without them getting too soggy. Draining off the liquid that results from your mushrooms as they roast not only reduces the cooking time, allowing you to have your meal on the table much more quickly, but it also ensures a well-caramelized dish with concentrated umami oomph that you won't forget.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Why This Step Is So Important

Roasted mushrooms on risotto
Roasted mushrooms on risotto - Nelea Reazanteva/Getty Images

Mushrooms are made of up to 90% water. This is what keeps them so light and fluffy when tossed into a salad in their raw iteration. But while that may help you stay hydrated, it also means that these 'shrooms have a lot less flavor than the ones concentrated through a cooking process.

When roasting, you'll find a good deal of water seeping out of the mushrooms over time, and while this indicates that they are getting more delicious, sitting in that liquid makes it difficult for them to caramelize and may result in a soggy dish. You can cook them longer and wait for the water to naturally evaporate, but by pausing about a third of the way into the roast and removing your sheet pan from the oven, gently draining it off by hand, and then returning to the heat, you can accelerate the process.

The beauty of this step is that not only will you have more concentrated mushroom goodness in the actual vegetable, but you also wind up with a byproduct that's full of flavor. Save your roasted mushroom juice for an umami-filled flavor enhancer; this stuff is vegan-friendly and can be used as a broth or cooking liquid for stews and soups, and even as a seasoning (like you might use fish sauce or soy sauce).

More Mushroom Roasting Tips

Roasted mushrooms in a bowl on wood surface
Roasted mushrooms in a bowl on wood surface - Stefan Tomic/Getty Images

It's important to consider how you'll clean your mushrooms, too, as you don't want to add even more moisture to the mix. Mushrooms have a naturally spongy texture and that means they can wind up sucking up a lot of water if you're not careful. Rinsing them under running water or submerging them briefly (about 15 seconds or less), is all you need to get them ready, and a helpful next step is to pat them dry with a clean paper towel or allow them to dry at room temperature for about an hour.

It's also critical to give your mushrooms space and spread them on your aluminum-lined baking sheet in an even layer (this draining tip works well for mushrooms of all kinds, and you can even mix and match, but ideally, your pieces are consistent in size and shape). If they're too crowded, the oven's heat won't be able to reach them on all sides, and if you have a pile-up, it'll prevent that moisture from evaporating.

Once you have your roasted mushrooms, you can prepare them to meet your recipe's needs. Because of this concentration, it's helpful to remember for planning purposes that once roasted, about six cups of mushrooms chopped will yield about ⅓ of that volume, but this simple tip will ensure every ounce you pull from the oven will be roasted to perfection.

Read the original article on Daily Meal