How to Cook Dried Mushrooms

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Learn how to cook dried mushrooms, a powerhouse ingredient packed with savory, meaty taste. Soak the dried mushrooms until rehydrated, then add to soups, stews, and sauces for plant-based umami flavor.

Dried mushrooms that have been rehydrated, minced on a cutting board.


 

Dried mushrooms are a powerful yet underrated ingredient. They are ultra-convenient (the dried mushrooms may last as long as 3 years in your pantry) yet packed with pungency. All they need is a quick soak to unleash their strong umami flavor so you can put it to work in recipes of all kinds.

They are especially helpful in plant-based recipes where a strong savory base can support a wide variety of vegetables and fresh herbs. But, they are a key ingredient in many meat-based dishes too, adding more depth of flavor in every bite.

It’s really just as simple as soaking them in boiling water, but you can add even more flavor by using chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth.

Ingredient notes

  • Mushrooms: This method works with many dried mushrooms such as porcini or shiitake (but soak times may vary).
  • Water: To infuse even more flavor into your dried mushrooms, soak in chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable stock.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add dried mushrooms and boiling water. Let sit until soft and pliable, about 5 to 10 minutes for dried porcini mushrooms and up to 30 minutes for dried shiitake mushrooms.
Dried porcini mushrooms soaking in a bowl of hot water to hydrate.
  1. Drain well and finely chop mushrooms or prepare as directed in your recipe. To reserve soaking liquid (delicious for adding even more flavor), strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a paper towel or a coffee filter to remove any grit.
Dried mushrooms that have been rehydrated, minced on a cutting board.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: 1 ½ ounces of dried mushrooms is equivalent to 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms.
  • Storage: Dried mushrooms may last up to 3 years in the pantry (read the package to check with your particular brand).
  • Buying: Dried mushrooms are available at many grocery stores (I usually find them in the Asian aisle) or you can find them on Amazon (these are my favorite dried porcinis from Amazon and I buy these dried porcinis when I shop at Whole Foods).
  • Washing: Visually inspect dried mushrooms for dirt and other debris. If needed, rinse thoroughly in cold water before using.
  • Microwave method: In a small microwave-safe bowl, cover dried mushrooms with water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic, and microwave for 30 seconds. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
A vegetable pot pie in a cast iron skillet with some removed to a white plate.
Vegetable Pot Pie, a plant-based (vegan) casserole that gets lots of flavor from dried porcini mushrooms.

Recipe FAQs

Do dried mushrooms need to be soaked before cooking?

Soaking mushrooms rehydrates them so they are plump and ready for cooking. It also helps remove any dirt or grit which can remain trapped when they are dry. For this reason, I always rehydrate dried mushrooms before adding them to a recipe, even if the recipe says they can be added as-is, while dry. Yes, mushrooms can be rehydrated in a sauce or broth while cooking, but you won’t be able to clean them properly if you do so.

What is the best way to use dried mushrooms?

Dried mushrooms add a savory, umami flavor to any recipe where they are cooked. For maximum flavor extraction, they do well in long-cooked recipes such as soups, stews, braised meats, and slow cooker recipes.

How long do you soak dried mushrooms before cooking?

The soaking time depends on the type of dried mushroom and the soaking liquid. Dried porcini mushrooms soak quickly (5 to 10 minutes) and shiitake mushrooms take longer (up to 30 minutes). These cooking times assume boiling water, so if you soak them in tepid water, they will take much longer to rehydrate.

Put your dried mushrooms to work

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Dried mushrooms that have been rehydrated, minced on a cutting board.

How to Cook Dried Mushrooms

Learn how to cook dried mushrooms, a powerhouse ingredient packed with savory, meaty taste. Soak the dried mushrooms until rehydrated, then add to soups, stews, and sauces for plant-based umami flavor.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 21
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 ounces dried mushrooms (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, add dried mushrooms and boiling water. Let sit until soft and pliable, about 5 to 10 minutes for dried porcini mushrooms and up to 30 minutes for dried shiitake mushrooms.
  • Drain well and finely chop mushrooms or prepare as directed in your recipe. To reserve soaking liquid (delicious for adding even more flavor), strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towel or a coffee filter to remove any grit.

Notes

  1. Mushrooms: This method works with many dried mushrooms such as porcini or shiitake (but soak times may vary).
  2. Water: To infuse even more flavor into your dried mushrooms, soak in chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable stock.
  3. Yield: 1 ½ ounces of dried mushrooms is equivalent to 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms.
  4. Storage: Dried mushrooms may last up to 3 years in the pantry (read the package to check with your particular brand).

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25ouncesCalories: 21kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 109mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

    1. Hi Marie, thank you for writing! I’m so glad to be of help! Please let me know if you have any questions! – Meggan