You've Been Cooking Mushrooms Wrong Your Whole Life. Here's Why

Conventional wisdom, when it comes to cooking mushrooms, tells us we should never, ever let them get wet before we cook them, lest they soak up the moisture and turn all slimy. No less an authority than Bon Appétit stated "the next time you're tempted to wash your 'shrooms, remember: Dry mushrooms are delicious mushrooms," and recommends avoiding that fungal faux pas by using only a paper towel or pastry brush to clean them.

Well, in cooking, as in life, it's often unwise to issue any absolutes, since this pretty much guarantees somebody's going to come along and prove you wrong. In the case of Bon Appétit as well as numerous other sources all claiming that mushrooms are a dry-clean only veggie, the counterpoint comes from a transplanted Texan chef who's now an Australian mushroom grower. According to a video Jim Fuller shared with the Daily Mail, the best way to cook mushrooms involves not just rinsing, but full immersion in water. In other words, that attempt at crisping up your 'shrooms in oil? You've been doing it wrong.

Boiling makes mushrooms better

Fuller, who co-founded the plant-based meat brand Fable, has been working as a mycologist (mushroom scientist) for the past 12 years, so the man obviously knows his 'shrooms. Prior to this, he spent a decade as a fine dining chef in his native Texas, so he also knows his way around a kitchen as well as a manure pile (or whatever they grow mushrooms in).

Anyway, Fuller's Daily Mail video on how to cook the perfect mushrooms shows him first boiling them in a little water (kind of a shallow boil, akin to a saute) in order to cook all of the mushrooms' own water out of them. He recommends boiling them until they're "al dente', adding just a little more water at a time until the mushrooms are perfectly done, but offers the reassurance that it's impossible to overcook mushrooms due to their unique cellular structure. Once the mushrooms are tender, he says to keep cooking until all of the water evaporates, then add some olive oil and some aromatics like minced shallot or garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to one minute — just a really quick stir fry. Season with a pinch of salt, serve, and enjoy the "delicious, earthy, meaty" flavor as well as the knowledge that you've helped participate in more mushroom myth-busting. Defying conventional cooking wisdom never tasted so good!