In a medium bowl, add dried mushrooms and boiling water. Let sit until soft and pliable, about 5 to 10 minutes.
To chop, first transfer to a fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towel, or a coffee filter. Strain liquid and discard.
Mushrooms: This method works with many dried mushrooms such as porcini or shiitake. 1 1/2 ounces dried mushrooms is about 8 ounces fresh mushrooms.
Water: To infuse even more flavor into your dried mushrooms, soak in chicken broth or beef broth.
Buying: Dried mushrooms are available at many grocery stores (I usually find them in the Asian aisle).
Washing: Visually inspect dried mushrooms for dirt and other debris. If needed, rinse throughly in cold water before using.
Storage: Dried mushrooms may last up to 3 years in the pantry (read the package to check with your particular brand).
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.
Add to recipes: Some recipes call for dried mushrooms as-is; they will rehydrate while cooking in a soup, sauce, or gravy. In those instances, the mushrooms do not need to be rehydrated (always follow your recipe).