Lemon Is Your Best Friend For Softening Mushrooms Quickly

The last thing you want when eating a batch of mushrooms is for them to be too hard. According to recent statistics, in 2022 alone, Americans ate around 3.65 pounds of mushrooms each, so getting the right consistency is ideal. So, how do you get those 'shrooms to the perfect level of chewiness when time is of the essence? Look no further than your grocery's produce aisle, because lemons hold the secret to mushroom-softening. The juice from a slice of lemon will provide the tenderization a standard mushroom needs to keep it from being too tough. Best of all, how it works is extremely simple. 

Though many might reach for an acidic salt brine soak or standard meat mallet to pummel some potential softness into them, all mushrooms need for softening is a few splashes of lemon juice with whatever else you're sautéing. After you've chosen which type of mushroom you'd like to use for your dish, correct preparation is the key to the tastiest results; this step should typically include tenderizing. The natural citric acid in lemon juice mitigates the tough fibers within the mushroom and provides the bonus of reinvigorating them with a distinct tang. Best of all, since mushrooms don't have the heft and thickness of, say, a side of beef, the impact is nearly immediate. 

Lemon and mushroom are flavor building blocks

One of the biggest upsides to using the piquant notes of lemon in your sauté is that it creates an impromptu vinaigrette that automatically coats the mushrooms. Lemon juice and oil harmoniously complement each other, but you don't need to stop there! Countless ingredients will assist the already tasty oil and lemon mixture working in the pan. For example, adding some garlic will amplify the flavor of mushrooms considerably, and garlic is always a welcome counterpart to lemons. 

Furthermore, even though it tends to have a stark flavor, balsamic vinegar also works when paired with mushrooms and lemon to create a blend of complementary tastes that never overwhelm, thanks to the reliable subtlety embedded within the mushroom's umami profile. These ingredients, along with any of your favorite spices and seasonings you decide to include, will give your lemon-emboldened mushrooms the consistency you want and hit your tastebuds in an undeniably pleasurable way. 

If you're among the many who eat mushrooms, you won't regret turning to the humble lemon for assistance. You'll not only seamlessly blend its flavors with the earthy notes found in mushrooms, but you'll also be able to use the leftover lemon for practical purposes. Who knew such a sour-tasting fruit could bring so much delight?