Do you know how to cut mushrooms properly? In this guide, I will show you 4 easy and common ways to cut mushrooms perfectly. The techniques are easy, and I’ve provided some handy tips that will make the process a breeze!
How To Prepare Mushrooms For Chopping
There is a big controversy surrounding the proper preparation and cleaning techniques for mushrooms. Many people say you should wash them in cold water, while others claim that this ruins these fruity fungi completely.
So, what should you do then?
In my opinion, I never wash mushrooms in water. From my experience, these techniques expose the mushroom to too much moisture. And because mushrooms are extremely porous, they soak up the liquid almost instantly. This makes them become soggy and slimy, and they lose their color.
At the same time, it limits the cooking techniques you may want to use. For example, very soggy mushrooms won’t crisp up nicely inside the fryer. And any water-logged mushrooms inside a filling will turn the entire batch into a soggy, watery, flavorless mess.
So, How Do You Clean A Mushroom?
Before we discuss how to cut mushrooms, it’s crucial you clean them well first.
As you may have seen before, most mushrooms are relatively clean. That’s because most of them you buy in stores are grown indoors. This means they are automatically cleaner because they are less exposed to the natural elements.
But, even so, there are still dirt and debris on them. And more so if you buy forages or wild mushrooms.
So, the best cleaning technique only requires a damp piece of paper towel or cloth. Damp is the keyword here. Not wet or dripping with water. Make sure you squeeze out any moisture you can!
Then, simply wipe the mushrooms over their entire surface (including the stem) to remove any dirt, stains, or debris.
Work carefully because mushrooms are generally very fragile, and can break or tear easily. It isn’t a massive issue but does make cutting more difficult.
Different Ways How To Cut Mushrooms
Let’s get to the good part: How do you cut mushrooms?
What you ultimately end up with depends on what you are making. For example, if you want to make crispy mushroom garnishes, you will likely slice them. And, if you are making a mushroom salad, you will probably cut them into quarters or halves.
Another factor that affects how you chop mushrooms is the type you are using. For example, enoki mushrooms don’t have to be cut at all. But, when using kind oyster mushrooms, you aren’t likely to use or cook them whole. They will probably be sliced, chopped, or diced.
Do You Have To Stem The Mushrooms Before Cutting Them?
Stemming is optional, but I highly recommend doing it. First and foremost, it makes it easier (and safer) to cut. The mushrooms won’t roll around the board as easily.
Secondly, many people don’t like the denser, woody texture that the stems provide. Personally, I hardly notice the difference. But if you are sensitive to texture, this may solve that problem.
How To Cut Mushrooms Into Quarters
This is one of the most popular cuts for mushrooms. Quartered mushrooms are perfect for stews, soups, salads, stir-fries, and roasted veggie sides.
- Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth.
- Remove the stems by simply pulling them out.
- Place the mushroom onto the chopping board, stem side down (or where the stem used to be).
- Cut the mushroom in half using a sharp knife.
- Rotate it 90 degrees and slice it in half again.
If you want to add the stems, you can add them whole or cut them in half as well. This really depends on their size.
How To Chop Mushrooms Into Cubes
Cubed mushrooms are large diced pieces – smaller than quartered but larger than diced blocks. They will add more texture to whatever you are making. And the cut is still adjustable.
To start, you can clean the mushrooms and remove their stems.
- Hold the mushroom on its side against the chopping board. Then, slice it in half, but not all the way through.
- Place the mushroom, stem side down, on the chopping board.
- Then, slice it into about 1/4-inch thick slices, again not cutting all the way to the end of the mushroom.
- Turn the mushroom 90 degrees, and finally, slice it into 1/4-inch slices again. This time, you can cut through the entire mushroom. You will instantly see beautiful, uniform cubes forming.
- The final end that hasn’t been cubed can be chopped into roughly the same-sized pieces.
By not cutting the mushrooms completely for steps 1 to 3, you keep the slices in place so they don’t fall apart. It makes it much easier to work with the mushroom and cut it into uniform cubes.
How To Cut Mushrooms Into Diced Blocks
The technique for diced mushrooms is almost the same as for cubed mushrooms. The only difference is that you cut the mushroom into 1/8-inch pieces.
This technique produces much finer pieces which will add less texture to your dish. They are great for sauces, soups, and fillings.
There is a second way to make diced mushrooms.
- Cut the mushrooms into thin slices (use the technique below).
- Take each slice and cut it into matchsticks (thin strands).
- Then, turn the sticks 90 degrees and dice them finely.
How To Slice Mushrooms
And last but certainly not least, another extremely common mushroom cut that you have to learn.
Before slicing mushrooms, you still need to clean them and remove their stems.
- Place the stemmed mushrooms on the chopping board with the stem side facing downwards.
- Hold the mushroom in place and carefully slice it as thinly as you want. It helps to keep the knife against your knuckles to create even slices and prevent the blade from slipping.
- Keep slicing until the entire piece is done.
Sliced mushrooms are perfect for virtually any use. They are big, which allows you to add texture to your dish. Not to mention, they are pretty and make a beautiful garnish.