How to Store Portobello Mushrooms the Right Way
Portobellos are among the edible mushrooms that are priced for their rich flavor and aroma. They are also among the mushrooms that are easy to grow. However, if you have a good supply of these mushrooms, one of your challenges will be on how to store them and increase their shelf life. In this article, we will examine the Portobello mushrooms and how to store them the right way.
What is Portobello Mushrooms?
Before going any further, please note that Portobello, Portobella and Portabella all refer to the same kind of mushroom, which are all acceptable. To provide consistency across the market, the Mushroom Council uses the name Portabella. But since I’m used to calling these mushrooms Portobello, I will just go with that name in this article.
Portobellos are cousins to the white button mushrooms. They are actually brown Crimini mushrooms that have been allowed to unfurl their caps which can grow up to 6 inches in diameter. It normally takes seven weeks for the Criminis to grow to that size. If you leave the Criminis for another five days, they will mature and become Portobellos. During this time, the Potobellos’ gills become fully developed and exposed, causing them to lose moisture. As a result, their flavor becomes concentrated and rich and their texture becomes meaty.
Portobellos are among the mushrooms that are easy to grow. You may check our article here to learn more about growing Portobellos. Once you started growing them, you should be able to harvest them from December to March.
Portobello Nutritional Facts
According to Mercola.com, Portobellos are a good source of copper which is needed by the body to produce red blood cells. Copper also plays an important role in carrying oxygen throughout the body. Aside from that, Portobellos also contain B-complex vitamins which include riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. Riboflavin is vital for maintaining healthy red blood cells. Niacin, on the other hand, keeps the digestive and nervous systems functioning properly. The pantothenic acid aids in the energy release from fat.
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Uses of Portobello Mushrooms
The Portobellos have a smokey and earthly flavor and meaty texture. They are highly valued because of their versatility as a substitute for other proteins. You can easily grill, sauté or broil them. You could also add them in stews, soups, pasta dishes and rice dishes. They are also a perfect pair for fresh herbs and greens and milk cheeses. If you have Portobello mushrooms in stock, you’ll always find a way to prepare delicious dishes.
If you grow Portobello mushrooms or buy them in bulk, proper storage is key to preserving their flavor and texture.
In the next part of this article, we will see how to preserve or store Portobellos.
How to Store Portobello Mushrooms the Right Way!
The longevity of Portobellos varies depending on their method of storing. It also depends on the quality of the Portobellos you choose to store.
To ensure longevity without having much effect on the flavor and texture of the mushroom, be sure to choose Portobellos that are fresh looking and have firm and smooth caps. They should also have an earthy smell. Avoid caps that appear limped, bruised or broken, as they normally won’t last long. Also, avoid caps that are slippery or shriveled which is a sign of decomposition.
Refrigeration – uncooked Portobellos
Basic refrigeration keeps Portobellos fresh for up to a week. You can follow the following basic refrigeration procedure:
- 1. If the mushroom is store-bought, remove the original packaging.
- 2. Do not wash the mushrooms with water as it will affect their texture and flavor. Instead, carefully clean them with a soft brush just to remove any sand, grit or debris.
- 3. Once cleaned, place the Portobellos inside a paper bag.
- 4. Make sure to seal the paper bag to prevent moisture from going in.
- 5. Store the paper bag in the humidity-controlled areas of your refrigerator. If you have a standard refrigerator, you can just place them in one of the crisper drawers at the bottom.
Tip: Paper bag is an ideal material for storing Portobellos and most types of mushrooms. Paper bags breathe and do not attract moisture. Plastic bags induce much moisture causing the mushrooms to deteriorate fast.
Refrigeration – cooked Portobellos
Cooked Portobellos have a longer shelf life when frozen. They can last up to several months. Basic cooking procedure before freezing involves the following steps:
- 1. Clean the mushroom using a soft brush to remove dirt and any debris.
- 2. Cook the Portobellos using your desired method: grilling, roasting or sautéing.
To grill the Portobellos, brush both sides with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, grill the Portobellos for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked.
If you choose to roast, preheat the oven at 425°F. Brush the Portobellos with olive oil and place them in a baking sheet with the caps side up. Roast the mushrooms for about 20 minutes.
Sautéing is perhaps the simplest method of cooking before freezing the Portobellos. With this method, you may choose to slice the caps off or keep them whole. You could start by putting the skillet in medium heat. Add a little oil or butter and then add the mushrooms. Continue stirring for up to 5 minutes or until the mushrooms become tender. You could also incorporate other spices such as onions, garlic and mushrooms. Season your dish with herbs, salt and pepper.
- 3. Once you are done cooking, set aside the mushrooms to let them cool. Place them in freezer containers and store in the freezer.
Just like most types of mushrooms, you may also preserve Portobellos by pickling. With this method, you can preserve and store Portobellos for up to a year. Pickled mushrooms can be used as a garnish or side dish.
Here is a basic pickled Portobello recipe:
- 2 lbs Portobello mushroom
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup salt (you may adjust it depending on your desired taste)
- 4 cups white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar
- 1 tbsp toasted mustard seed
- 1 Jalapeno
- Bay leaves
- 1. Clean the Portobello mushrooms thoroughly using the procedure we mentioned above. Slice them and then set aside in a large bowl.
- 2. In a large pot, mix the water, vinegar and salt. Put it over medium heat. Continue stirring to dissolve the salt.
- 3. Add the mushrooms in the pot then let them boil.
- 4. Reduce the heat and let the mushrooms simmer in the brine for about 10 minutes or until tender.
- 5. Fish out the mushrooms from the brine and pack them in sterilized jars. Be sure to leave space for the brine and the other optional ingredients to be added in each jar.
- 6. Fill the jars with hot brine but be sure to leave ½ inch of head space.
- 7. Wipe the rims with paper towel and let the jars boil in a water bath for 20 minutes.
Portobello mushrooms are delicious mushrooms that you can use in a wide range of dishes. They are also a good source of certain vitamins that aid in your overall health. If you grow your own Portobellos or buy them in bulk, it would be good to learn the proper way of preserving and storing these mushrooms. That way, you can keep them for a long time while still enjoying their flavor and good texture.
I hope this article has helped you in some way. If you have some thoughts or would like to share your way of storing Portobellos, please let us know in the comment section. If you think your friends might also benefit from this article, don’t forget to share it in your social media.